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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363401

Research Project: Systematics of Parasitic and Herbivorous Wasps of Agricultural Importance

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Differential hyperparasitism of two competing parasitoids

item VYAS, DHAVAL - Colorado State University
item PAUL, R. - Colorado State University
item Gates, Michael
item KUBIK, T. - Netherlands Institute Of Ecology
item HARVEY, J. - Netherlands Institute Of Ecology
item KONDRATIEFF, B. - Colorado State University
item ODE, P. - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Basic and Applied Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Biological control of insect crop pests by parasitic wasps is an effective, non-chemical technique for suppressing these pests. Hyperparastic wasps often antagonize biological control programs. In this paper we report on the differential effects of hyperparasitic wasps on introduced parasitic wasps attacking imported cabbageworm. This work will be useful to entomologists, biological control workers and producers of cucrbit crops affected by cabbageworm.

Technical Abstract: Classical biological control programs introduce primary parasitoids into new geographic regions, often exposing them to existing populations of hyperparasitoids. Hyperparasitoids are frequently implicated in the failure of parasitoid biological control agents to establish and provide control of insect pests. The outcome of competition, among two or more parasitoid species, may be altered if the parasitoids are differentially attacked by the same hyperparasitoids. A reliable assessment of the hyperparasitoid community is needed to understand how top-down trophic interactions influence the effectiveness of introduced parasitoids. We examined the diversity of hyperparasitoids attacking Cotesia glomerata in Colorado (USA), where the congener C. rubecula is absent. We compared this diversity with the hyperparasitoid community of C. glomerata and C. rubecula from Maryland (USA) where both wasps co-occur and use the imported cabbageworm (Pieris rapae) as their main host. Field collected C. glomerata broods were analyzed to examine the relationship between brood sizes and adult sex ratios and the likelihood of attack by different hyperparasitoid species. A total of nine hyperparasitoid species were found in Colorado, of which four species also occurred in Maryland. While larger C. glomerata broods experienced increased odds of hyperparasitism, C. glomerata developing in larger broods had higher per capita survivorship than those developing in smaller broods. The proportion of C. glomerata males in a brood increased with brood size in both unparasitized and hyperparasitized broods, suggesting that female C. glomerata were not preferentially hyperparasitized. Hyperparasitoids inflicted greater mortality on C. rubecula than on C. glomerata. This differential hyperparasitism may enable the coexistence of C. glomerata with its congener C. rubecula, which usually outcompetes and displaces C. glomerata.