We investigated the effect of host (Plodia interpunctella; Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) nutritional status on development of the solitary endoparasitoid, Venturia canescens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Parasitoids from 3rd (L3) instars reared on a deficient diet during early parasitism took longer to develop and suffered higher mortality than those reared from hosts fed ad libitum although there was not a significant difference in the size of eclosing wasps from the two groups. L5 hosts reared at high density produced smaller parasitoids, which developed more rapidly than those reared from hosts from low density containers, although mortality was higher in the latter. In a separate experiment we starved groups of 10-20 hosts (parasitized as L3) daily beginning on the 4th day after parasitism, to determine the host developmental stage required for successful parasitoid development to eclosion. Parasitoid survivorship increased with length of host access to food, while the egg-to-adult parasitoid development time increased throughout the experiment. Parasitoid size decreased with increasing periods of host starvation. The successful emergence of Venturia depends upon Plodia reaching the size normally attained in the mid-5th instar, or 50-70% of the mass of healthy late 5th instars. Our results show that when earlier instars are parasitized, host growth is essential for successful parasitoid development to eclosion. Furthermore, they suggest that, for many koinobionts, host suitability may be greatly influenced by feeding rate and food quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume75
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • VENTURIA CANESCENS, PLODIA INTERPUNCTELLA, HYMENOPTERA, ICHNEUMONIDAE, HOST QUALITY, HOST NUTRITION, KOINOBIONT, DEVELOPMENT, PARASITISM

ID: 1003035