Rapid Establishment of a Regular Distribution of Adult Tropical Drosophila Parasitoids in a Multi-Patch Environment by Patch Defence Behaviour.

P.W. de Jong, L. Hemerik, G. Gort, J.J.M. van Alphen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Females of the larval parasitoid of Drosophila, Asobara citri, from sub-Saharan Africa, defend patches with hosts by fighting and chasing conspecific females upon encounter. Females of the closely related, palearctic species Asobara tabida do not defend patches and often search simultaneously in the same patch. The effect of patch defence by A. citri females on their distribution in a multi-patch environment was investigated, and their distributions were compared with those of A. tabida. For both species 20 females were released from two release-points in replicate experiments. Females of A. citri quickly reached a regular distribution across 16 patches, with a small variance/mean ratio per patch. Conversely, A. tabida females initially showed a clumped distribution, and after gradual dispersion, a more Poisson-like distribution across patches resulted (variance/mean ratio was closer to 1 and higher than for A. citri). The dispersion of A. tabida was most probably an effect of exploitation: these parasitoids increasingly made shorter visits to already exploited patches. We briefly discuss hypotheses on the adaptive significance of patch defence behaviour or its absence in the light of differences in the natural history of both parasitoid species, notably the spatial distribution of their hosts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20870
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • interspecific host discrimination
  • asobara-tabida nees
  • time allocation
  • adaptive superparasitism
  • solitary parasitoids
  • insect parasitoids
  • wasps
  • interference
  • strategies
  • efficiency

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