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Effects of learning in two microhabitat specialists, Leptopilina boulardi Barbotin et al. and L. fimbriata Kieffer were compared to previous and new results of learning in the microhabitat generalist L. heterotoma Thomson. Females were given one or more oviposition experiences on hosts in different types of substrate. In all species oviposition experience affected the choice for a substrate, although this effect of learning was considerably less in L. fimbriata compared to the other two species. Patch times, known to be highly determined by experience in the generalist L. heterotoma, were much less flexible in the specialists. L. boulardi and L. fimbriata have fixed patch times on their natural substrate and have variable patch times on other substrates only. In all three species one oviposition affected the choice for a substrate. Additional ovipositions showed no different effect. An accumulative effect of the number of ovipositions on patch times was found in L. heterotoma only. Retention of the learning effect was only studied in L. boulardi, and was shown to be similar to that reported for L. heterotoma, i.e. two to three days. Although learning was found in both the generalist and the specialist species studied, it seems to affect their foraging behaviour differently.
|Journal||Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|