Lysibia nana is a solitary, secondary idiobiont hyperparasitoid that attacks newly cocooned pre-pupae and pupae of several closely related gregarious endoparasitoids in the genus Cotesia, including C. glomerata. Prior to oviposition, the female wasp injects paralysing venom into the host, thus preventing further development. Here, host fate, emerging hyperparasitoid mass, and egg-to-adult development time was compared in hosts parasitized at different ages over 24-h intervals. Cocoons of C. glomerata were parasitized by L. nana at 12, 36, 60, 84, and 108 h post-egression from the secondary host, Pieris brassicae. Hyperparasitoid survival exceeded 80% in hosts parasitized within the first 60 h after pupation, but dropped thereafter, with no hyperparasitoids emerging in hosts aged 108 h. The mass of hyperparasitoids was positively correlated with the mass of the host cocoon, and this relationship remained consistent in hosts up to 60 h old. Within each host age cohort, the mass of male and female wasps was not significantly different. Development time in L. nana was uniform in hosts up to 60 h old, but increased significantly in 84-h-old hosts, and male wasps completed their development earlier than female wasps. Regulation of host growth varied with the age of the host at parasitism, with the early growth of older hosts reduced much more dramatically than young hosts. Unlike most parasitoids, pupal hyperparasitoids do not make cocoons but instead pupate within the already prepared cocoon of the host parasitoid. Consequently, for a given mass of cocoon, newly emerged L. nana adults were remarkably similar in size with male and female adults of C. glomerata. This reveals that L. nana is extremely efficient at exploiting its primary parasitoid host. [KEYWORDS: Cotesia glomerata ; development ; host quality ; hyperparasitoid ; idiobiont ; Lysibia nana]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-183
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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