A neuronal arms race: the role of learning in parasitoid–host interactions

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Parasitic wasps and their larval hosts are intimately connected by an array of behavioral adaptations and counter-adaptations. This co-evolution has led to highly specific, natural variation in learning rates and memory consolidation in parasitoid wasps. Similarly, the hosts of the parasitoids show specific sensory adaptations as well as non-associative learning strategies for parasitoid avoidance. However, these neuronal and behavioral adaptations of both hosts and wasps have so far been studied largely apart from each other. Here we argue that a parallel investigation of the nervous system in wasps and their hosts might lead to novel insights into the evolution of insect behavior and the neurobiology of learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Early online date15 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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