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Research article2012Peer reviewed

Male and female Trybliographa rapae (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) behavioural responses to food plant, infested host plant and combined volatiles

Nilsson, Ulf; Eriksson, Anna; Rämert, Birgitta; Anderson, Peter


Many parasitoids use volatiles produced by plants as important cues during their food and host search process. We investigated the attraction of the parasitic wasp Trybliographa rapae Westwood (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) to volatiles emitted from plants infested by the cabbage root fly Delia radicum L. (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), as well as to volatiles from a nectar food plant. Behavioural choice tests showed that male parasitoids were not attracted to any volatiles from plants infested by D. radicum or from nectar plants, while females showed clear attraction to both volatile sources. Young females were more attracted to combined volatiles of host and food plants over those from only the host plant, whereas older females showed no differences in attraction to the two odour sources. This suggests that intercropping attractive flowers with host plants could potentially be used to recruit newly emerged parasitoids from surrounding fields while older parasitoids invest more energy in host location than in additional food search. Volatiles from a whole infested plant were chosen over those emitted from separated above- and below-ground parts from infested plants. It is important to consider the availability of both energy and host resources for parasitoids when designing an eco-compatible management of a vegetable crop system.


Trade-off; Conservation biological control; HIPV; Nectar plant; Delia radicum

Published in

Arthropod-Plant Interactions
2012, Volume: 6, number: 2, pages: 251-258
Publisher: SPRINGER