Pupal parasitoid attack influences the relative fitness of Drosophila that have encapsulated larval parasitoids
Fellowes, M. D. E., Masnatta, P., Kraaijeveld, A. R. and Godfray, H. C. J. (1998) Pupal parasitoid attack influences the relative fitness of Drosophila that have encapsulated larval parasitoids. Ecological Entomology, 23 (3). pp. 281-284. ISSN 0307-6946
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1. The evolution of host resistance to parasitoid attack will be constrained by two factors: the costs of the ability to defend against attack, and the costs of surviving actual attack. These factors have been investigated using Drosophila melanogaster and its parasitoids as a model system. The costs of defensive ability are expressed as a trade-off with larval competitive ability, whereas the costs of actual defence are exhibited in terms of reduced adult fecundity and size. 2. The costs of actual defence may be ameliorated by the host-choice decisions made by Pachycrepoideus vindemiae, a pupal parasitoid. If larvae that have successfully encapsulated a parasitoid develop into poorer quality hosts, then these may be rejected by ovipositing pupal parasitoids. 3. Pupae developing from larvae that have encapsulated the parasitoid Asobara tabida are smaller and have relatively thinner puparia. Thinner puparia are likely to be associated with a reduction in mechanical strength and possibly with a decrease in desiccation tolerance. 4. Pachycrepoideus vindemiae that develop in capsule-bearing pupae are smaller than those that emerge from previously unattacked hosts. This supports the prediction that ovipositing female P. vindemiae should avoid attacking capsule-bearing hosts. However, in choice experiments with 1-day-old pupae, P. vindemiae females oviposited preferentially in hosts containing a capsule, whereas there was no preference found with 4-day-old hosts. This appears to be a maladaptive host choice decision, as the female pupal parasitoids are preferentially attacking hosts that will result in a reduction of their own fitness. 5. The increased likelihood of attack by a pupal parasitoid is another cost of actual defence against larval parasitoid attack.