The effect of selected experiences on subsequent flight behavior by the parasitoid Microplitis croceipes, after its arrival at a potential host site, was examined in a flight tunnel. Exposing M. croceipes to host frass from Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) larvae fed fresh cowpea leaves reinforced its sustained flight response to a hexane extract of that same frass, while an exposure to host frass followed by an oviposition reduced subsequent sustained flight responses to the hexane extract. When oviposition experience was given to M. croceipes outside its target area, or when host site appearance was changed after oviposition, no reduction in sustained flight responses was found. Our results suggest that M. croceipes is able to associatively learn the site of oviposition by linking oviposition experiences to spatial information, thereby reducing the frequency of revisitation and self-superparasitism. The ecological significance of these results is discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 1993|