1. Two sibling species of larval endoparasitoids of Drosophilidae: Asobara tabida (Nees) and A.rufescens (Foerster) occur in the same macrohabitat, but inhabit different microhabitats. Each species is most attracted by odours of its own microhabitat. 2. In order to assess the adaptive value of the microhabitat preference we studied the survival of both parasitoids in the major host species that occur in these microhabitats. 3. Survival in the major host in the preferred microhabitat was shown to be 40% higher for A.tabida and 30% higher for A.rufescens when compared to survival in the major host in the non-preferred microhabitat. 4. Measurements of developmental rates, specific mortalities and dry weights of the parasitoids suggest that the differential survival is due to differences in synchronization with the hosts. 5. The possible evolutionary consequences of some biological characteristics in Asobara are discussed. Microhabitat selection, differential survival, development and mating behaviour are attributes likely to have played a role in the reduction of gene flow between populations of the ancestral species, either in primary or in secondary sympatry.
|Publication status||Published - 1984|