Reproductive activity and olfactory response of Lysiphlebus fabarum to the presence of an intraguild predator, Hippodamia variegata, in the host patches

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. Student of Entomology, Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Entomology, Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Entomology, Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Japan


In this study, the reproductive activity and olfactory response of the parasitoid wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum to the presence of an intraguild predator, the ladybird Hippodamia variegata,was investigated on the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii on cucumber plants. For this purpose, in addition to comparing the predator feeding of healthy and parasitized adult aphids, reproductive characteristics of the parasitoid wasp (percent parasitism, percent emergence, and sex ratio) were investigated in three different host patches, including those of only aphids alone, aphids with a female ladybird, and aphids with aphid carcasses. Moreover, the preference of the female wasps to these patches was determined using a Y-tube olfactometer. Ladybirds significantly preferred healthy aphids to previously parasitized ones (F2,27=12.53, P<0.001), and the proportion of parasitism by parasitoid wasps were lower in the patch containing a female ladybird (G2,42=6.99, P=0.03). According to olfactometer test results, the parasitoid wasp significantly avoided the patch containing the intraguild predator ladybird (χ2=6.40, df=19, P=0.01). In conclusion, based upon the findings of the avoidance of ladybirds by female wasps and also preference of healthy aphids by ladybirds, it is expected that female wasps forage more in patches lacking the intraguild predator ladybirds, and that ladybirds prefer feeding on healthy aphids, resulting in a reduction in the intraguild predation and improving the cotton aphid control.


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