Canadian Forest Service Publications

Influence of host size on oviposition behaviour and fitness of Elachertus cacoeciae attacking a low-density population of spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana. 2000. Fidgen, J.G.; Eveleigh, E.S.; Quiring, D.T. Entomol 25: 156-164.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18128

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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  1. Oviposition behaviour and host size-fitness relationships of a gregarious, idiobiont ectoparasitoid, Elachertus cacoeciae (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), were studied by implanting one fourth- fifth-, and sixth-instar spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larva per tree in a stand where the density of the wild C. fumiferana population was low.
  2. Development time of E. cacoeciae larvae was quickest on fifth-instar C. fumiferana larvae, which were the preferred hosts for oviposition.
  3. Brood sex ratio (proportion of females) was related positively to increasing C. fumiferana instar, indicating that more females were laid on larger hosts.
  4. Parasitoid offspring size increased with increasing C. fumiferana instar and decreased with increasing brood size on smaller hosts. Female but not male size was related positively to increasing brood sex ratio (proportion of females).
  5. Under laboratory conditions, parasitoid longevity was related positively to parasitoid size and realised lifetime fecundity, and clutch size was related positively to host size.
  6. These results suggest that selection of intermediate-sized C. fumiferana larvae may be adaptive for E. cacoeciae.