Parasitoids display remarkable inter- and intraspecific variation in their reproductive and associated traits. Adaptive explanations have been proposed for many of the between-trait relationships. We present an overview of the current knowledge of parasitoid reproductive biology, focusing on egg production strategies in females, by placing parasitoid reproduction within physiological and ecological contexts. Thus, we relate parasitoid reproduction both to inter- and intraspecific patterns of nutrient allocation, utilization, and acquisition, and to key aspects of host ecology, specifically abundance and dispersion pattern. We review the evidence that resource trade-offs underlie several key intertrait correlations and that reproductive and feeding strategies are closely integrated at both the physiological and the behavioral levels. The idea that parasitoids can be divided into capital-breeders or income-breeders is no longer tenable; such terminology is best restricted to the females’ utilization of particular nutrients.
|Journal||Annual Review of Entomology|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|