Parasitoid Preference for Host-Infested Plants Is Affected by the Risk of Intraguild Predation

Research paper by Kaori Shiojiri, Junji Takabayashi

Indexed on: 01 Jul '05Published on: 01 Jul '05Published in: Journal of insect behavior


Flowering Rorippa indicaplants are attended by ants that collect nectar and, at the same time, prey on herbivorous insects, including larvae of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.Here, we showed that P. xylostellalarvae suffered higher predation on R. indicawhose flowers were accessible by ants than on plants those whose flowers were inaccessible. Ants showed equal predation preference between unparasitized and larvae parasitized by Cotesia plutellae,a dominant specialist parasitic wasp of P. xylostellalarvae. C. plutellaepreferred non-flowering, host-infested R. indicato flowering, host infested R. indica.Based on these results, we infer that the preference of C.plutellaefor non-flowering, host-infested plants is in part explained by the avoidance of intraguild predation by attending ants.