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10 March 2015 Searching behaviour of Dolichogenidea tasmanica in response to susceptible instars of Epiphyas postvittana
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Dolichogenidea tasmanica (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is the most commonly reared parasitoid from larval light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), feeding on grapevines in Australia. In order to evaluate the efficiency of searching behaviour of D. tasmanica, a laboratory study was undertaken to determine how this wasp responds to the susceptible stages of larval LBAM. Observations of searching behaviour were made in a wind tunnel, which allowed the wasp to express its full range of behaviour. The behaviour of D. tasmanica and susceptibility of LBAM to parasitism varies significantly among instars. The wasp most readily parasitises newly hatched larvae, but can parasitise the first three of the six instars. The first instars cause less damage and also produce less faeces and silk than later instars, so they are associated with less volatile cues that may be detected by the parasitoid. Flight initiation to an infested leaf was lower in the presence of first instars compared with second and third instars. The flight duration was shortest when females were exposed to plants infested by third instars. An analysis of the sequence and timing of searching behaviour indicated that females respond differently to each of the instars of LBAM.

© CSIRO 2015
Maryam Yazdani, Richard Glatz, and Michael A. Keller "Searching behaviour of Dolichogenidea tasmanica in response to susceptible instars of Epiphyas postvittana," Australian Journal of Zoology 63(1), 38-45, (10 March 2015).
Received: 28 October 2014; Accepted: 1 January 2015; Published: 10 March 2015

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