A comparison of life history traits of sexual and asexual strains of the parasitoid wasp, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Braconidae

Aphidiinae)

Mohammad Ameri, Arash Rasekh*, Zahra Mohammadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. This study examined biological characteristics of sexual and asexual strains of the parasitoid wasp, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). 2. Strains were reared in different instar hosts (the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scopoli) under identical environmental conditions (21 °C, 65-75% RH, and LD 16:8 h). 3. Results showed that the second instar of the aphid is the most suitable growth stage for both strains, as the wasps that emerged from the second instar hosts were larger, more fecund, and had larger egg size. Trade-offs between the fitness components of the parasitoid were clearer when the parasitoids were reared in suboptimal instars. 4. According to the results, sexual females emerged around 1 day earlier and lived around 0.5 day less than asexual females. Also, sexual females emerged with a lower initial egg load, although these wasps tend to have larger eggs than asexual females. Asexual females may enjoy greater longevity and higher developmental plasticity which suggests a higher degree of synchronization with pest population dynamism. 5. The results suggest that sexual wasps, in contrast to asexual wasps, invest more in egg size than in egg load. This study suggests strain-specific adaptations of L. fabarum to different instars of the black bean aphid by which the allocation of nutritional resources to various functions differs between strains. 6. Furthermore, differences in life history traits between strains can greatly influence the population dynamics of each strain, and hence their effectiveness in suppressing pest populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aphis fabae
  • Fitness
  • Geographical biotypes
  • Life history traits
  • Trade-off

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