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To determine and compare innate preferences of the parasitoid speciesCotesia glomerata andC. rubecula for different plant-herbivore complexes, long-range (1-m) foraging behavior was studied in dual-choice experiments in a wind tunnel. In this study we tested the hypothesis that naive females of the specialistC. rubecula should show more pronounced preferences for different plant-herbivore complexes than females of the generalistC. glomerata. The herbivore species used were the pieridsPieris brassicae, P. rapae, P. Napi, andAporia crataegi and the nonhostsPlutella xylostella andMamestra brassicae. All herbivore species feed mainly on cabbage and wild crucifers, exceptAporia crataegi, which feeds on species of Rosaceae. Both parasitoid species preferred herbivore-damaged plants over nondamaged plants. NeitherC. rubecula norC. glomerata discriminated between plants infested by different caterpillar species, not even between plants infested by host-and nonhost species. Both parasitoid species showed preferences for certain cabbage cultivars and plant species. No differences were found in innate host-searching behavior betweenC. glomerata andC. rubecula. The tritrophic system cabbage-caterpillars-Cotesia sp. seems to lack specificity on the herbivore level, whereas on the plant level differences in attractiveness to parasitoids were found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-538
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ID: 229179