Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Nutritional state of the pollen beetle parasitoid Tersilochus heterocerus foraging in the field

Rusch A, Suchail S, Valantin-Morison M, Sarthou JP, Roger-Estrade J


Many laboratory studies have demonstrated that parasitoids of various species depend on sugar sources such as nectar or honeydew. However, studies about nectar acquisition by parasitoids foraging in the field are scarce. Tersilochus heterocerus Thomson is one of the more abundant and widespread parasitoids of the pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus F.) but nothing is known about the nutritional ecology of this species. In this study we examined the nutritional state of T. heterocerus at the time of emergence and at various time periods throughout the season while foraging in the field using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography. We found that: (i) T. heterocerus emerge with relatively small amounts of sugar, composed mainly of trehalose, glucose and fructose; (ii) the first parasitoids caught just after they appeared in the field at the beginning of oilseed rape flowering had already consumed significant amounts of sugar reserves; and (iii) the total amount of sugar at the end of flowering was always significantly higher than the total amount of sugar at the beginning of flowering. This study provides valuable insights into the acquisition of sugar in the field by the parasitoid T. heterocerus and suggests that nectar acquisition takes place in the oilseed rape field or in the surrounding landscape.


Oilseed rape; Tersilochus heterocerus; Parasitoid; Nectar; Carbohydrate; HPAEC; Conservation biological control

Published in

2013, Volume: 58, number: 1, pages: 17-26

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)