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      Siblicidal behaviour by larvae of the gregarious parasitoid Cotesia vanessae

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      Journal of Hymenoptera Research
      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Contrasting life histories distinguish solitary from gregarious parasitoids. Females of solitary species typically lay one egg in a host; when more than one parasitoid is present in the host, larvae will kill their rivals so that only one parasitoid completes development. Females of gregarious species typically lay multiple eggs in the same host with the resultant larvae co-existing to complete development. Here we provide an unusual report of siblicide by larvae of a gregarious parasitoid; i.e., Cotesiavanessae (Reinhard) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) developing in noctuid caterpillars (Lepidoptera). Siblicidal behaviour has not previously been reported with larvae of gregarious Braconidae. We speculate that this behaviour reflects a trade-off between the finite amount of resources within the host available for larval development, and selection to optimize use of these resources. ‘Flooding’ the host with eggs allows the female to use the finite resources of the host to their fullest extent, regardless of host size. This strategy also may allow the female to overwhelm the host’s immune system to enhance survival of her progeny in otherwise marginal host species. It further may enhance the ability of the female’s progeny to competitively exclude the larvae of conspecific females or larvae of other parasitoid species co-occurring in the host. Siblicide allows for self-regulation of brood size when host resources are insufficient to support egg-to-adult development of all eggs initially laid in the host.

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          Most cited references23

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          Superparasitism as an adaptive strategy for insect parasitoids.

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            Intrinsic inter- and intraspecific competition in parasitoid wasps.

            Immature development of parasitoid wasps is restricted to resources found in a single host that is often similar in size to the adult parasitoid. When two or more parasitoids of the same or different species attack the same host, there is competition for monopolization of host resources. The success of intrinsic competition differs between parasitoids attacking growing hosts and parasitoids attacking paralyzed hosts. Furthermore, the evolution of gregarious development in parasitoids reflects differences in various developmental and behavioral traits, as these influence antagonistic encounters among immature parasitoids. Fitness-related costs (or benefits) of competition for the winning parasitoid reveal that time lags between successive attacks influence the outcome of competition. Physiological mechanisms used to exclude competitors include physical and biochemical factors that originate with the ovipositing female wasp or her progeny. In a broader multitrophic framework, indirect factors, such as plant quality, may affect parasitoids through effects on immunity and nutrition.
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              Clutch Size in a Parasitoid Wasp: A Manipulation Experiment

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                December 31 2018
                December 31 2018
                : 67
                : 55-62
                Article
                10.3897/jhr.67.28978
                9c2c7b01-142f-426c-9782-8e8eece05221
                © 2018

                https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/


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