Recently parasitoids were hypothesized to encounter a reliability-detectability problem relating to chemical stimuli from the first and second trophic level, when searching for hosts. The relative role of infochemicals originating from the host,Pieris brassicae (second trophic level), and its food plant, cabbage (first trophic level), have been investigated with respect to long-range host location by the larval parasitoidCotesia glomerata. Flight-chamber dual choice tests showed that uninfested cabbage plants are least attractive to female wasps. Host larvae and their feces were more attractive than clean plants but far less attractive than artificially damaged and herbivore-damaged plants. The plant-host complex, with host larvae actively feeding on the plant, was the most attractive odor source for the parasitoids. The data indicate that one of the solutionsC. glomerata uses to solve the reliability-detectability problem is to respond to infochemicals that are emitted from herbivore-damaged plants. Whether these infochemicals are herbivore-induced synomones that are produced by the plant remains to be demonstrated. Infochemicals emitted by the herbivore or its by-products are of little importance in the foraging behavior ofC. glomerata.
|Journal||Journal of Chemical Ecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|