Host searching behaviour of Psyttalia concolor (Szépligeti) (Hymenoptera:Braconidae): response to olive fruits infested by Bactrocera oleae (Rossi)(Diptera: Tephritidae)


Abstract: A laboratory study aimed at determining the host-searching behaviour of Psyttaliaconcolor when using olive fruits infested by Bactrocera oleae larvae was performed. Naïve orexperienced mated females of P. concolor were used in two-choice laboratory bioassays in a stillairarena, in which chemical and visual fruit stimuli were at the same time presented. Behaviouraltests were carried out in order to offer an increasing sequence of stimuli (i.e. from an artificial fruitto an infested fruit containing host larvae) to parasitoid females. Results showed that attractivenessof uninfested olive fruits was not significantly different in comparison to the odourless control ( artificial fruit). When the artificial fruits or uninfested olive fruits were offered to the parasitoidin comparison to infested fruits experienced females significantly preferred the latter stimulus, soimproving their ability to easily discriminate the different cues deriving from olive fruit flyinfestation.

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