Many endoparasitoids develop successfully within a range of host instars. Parasitoid survival is highest when parasitism is initiated in earlier host instars, due to age-related changes in internal (physiological) host defences. Most studies examining fitness-related costs associated with differences in host instar have concentrated on the parasitoid, ignoring the effects of parasitism on the development of surviving hosts that have encapsulated parasitoid eggs. A laboratory experiment was undertaken examining fitness-related costs associated with encapsulation of Venturia canescens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) eggs by fifth (L5) instar larvae of Corcyra cephalonica (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Growth and development of both host and parasitoid were monitored in C. cephalonica larvae containing 0, 1, 2, or 4 parasitoid eggs. Adult size and fecundity of C. cephalonica did not vary with the number of eggs per host. However, there was a distinct increase in host mortality with egg number, although most parasitoids emerged from hosts containing a single egg. The most dramatic effect on the host was a highly significant increase in development time from parasitism to adult eclosion, with hosts containing 4 parasitoid eggs taking over 2.5 days longer to complete development than unparasitized larvae. The egg-to-adult development time and size of adult V. canescens did not vary with egg number per host, as demonstrated in a previous experiment using a different host (Plodia interpunctella). The results described here show that there are fitness-related costs to the host associated with resistance to parasitism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Corcyra cephalonica, parasitism, encapsulation, host regulation, host suitability, Venturia canescens

ID: 1003007