Anticipated host availability increases parasitoid host attack behaviour

Roy Kaspi*, Boaz Yuval, Michael P. Parrella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Host feeding is common among synovigenic parasitoid wasps and is the mechanism through which they obtain nutrients for egg production. Upon host discovery, female wasps make a series of decisions that influence their host feeding and oviposition activities. Theoretical and empirical studies have shown that host availability is one of the factors that may affect these decisions. Diglyphus isaea, a synovigenic ectoparasitic wasp, parasitizes and kills (by feeding on or stinging) larval stages of agromyzid leafminer flies. We found that in the presence of large populations of adult leafminer flies, Liriomyza trifolii, the parasitoid wasp increased its host-killing behaviour, which appeared to be associated with a trend for increased protein uptake. Our study suggests that anticipated future host availability, which is based on a 'host cue detour' (sensu 'infochemical detour'), affects the host-killing and host-feeding behaviour of this parasitoid wasp.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1159-1165
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jay Rosenheim for his helpful advice and Shlomit Shloush, Batia Kamensky, Thomas Costamagna and Katherine Szulewski for technical assistance. We thank the two anonymous referees for their constructive comments. We also acknowledge the generous donation of chrysanthemum cuttings by ‘Yoder Brothers’. This work was supported by the Vaadia-BARD Postdoctoral Award No: FI-304-2000 from BARD , the United States–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund and the National Research Initiative (NRI; USDA) Competitive Grants program, Proposal No. 2002-01971.


  • Anticipated host availability
  • Diglyphus isaea
  • Host feeding
  • Host killing
  • Infochemical detour
  • Liriomyza trifolii


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