Pre-Patch Experience Affects the Egg Distribution Pattern in a Polyembryonic Parasitoid of Moth Egg Batches

Authors

  • Thomas S. Hoffmeister,

    1. Hoffmeister, T. S., Thiel, A., Kock, B., Babendreier, D. & Kuhlmann, U. 2000: Pre-patch experience affects the egg distribution pattern in a polyembryonic parasitoid of moth egg batches. Ethology 106, 145–157.
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  • Andra Thiel,

    1. Hoffmeister, T. S., Thiel, A., Kock, B., Babendreier, D. & Kuhlmann, U. 2000: Pre-patch experience affects the egg distribution pattern in a polyembryonic parasitoid of moth egg batches. Ethology 106, 145–157.
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  • Birthe Kock,

    1. Hoffmeister, T. S., Thiel, A., Kock, B., Babendreier, D. & Kuhlmann, U. 2000: Pre-patch experience affects the egg distribution pattern in a polyembryonic parasitoid of moth egg batches. Ethology 106, 145–157.
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  • Dirk Babendreier,

    1. Hoffmeister, T. S., Thiel, A., Kock, B., Babendreier, D. & Kuhlmann, U. 2000: Pre-patch experience affects the egg distribution pattern in a polyembryonic parasitoid of moth egg batches. Ethology 106, 145–157.
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  • Ulrich Kuhlmann

    1. Hoffmeister, T. S., Thiel, A., Kock, B., Babendreier, D. & Kuhlmann, U. 2000: Pre-patch experience affects the egg distribution pattern in a polyembryonic parasitoid of moth egg batches. Ethology 106, 145–157.
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Corresponding author: Thomas S. Hoffmeister, Zoologisches Institut, Ökologie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, D-24098 Kiel, Germany. E-mail: thoffmeister@zoologie.uni-kiel.de

Abstract

According to foraging theory, female parasitoids should alter their host choice in response to cues that indicate a limitation of resources. We tested whether females of the polyembryonic parasitoid Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), which attack egg batches of small ermine moths (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae), would alter their host acceptance pattern in response to different pre-patch experience. We kept females of the parasitoid prior to a patch visit under different conditions, which should indicate different levels of competition for hosts. With increased competition as pre-patch experience, females laid more eggs per host egg and self-superparasitized more often, and the resultant egg distributions showed a trend from more regular distributions to increasingly Poisson and aggregated distributions. Consequently, females with a pre-patch experience that would indicate low competition for hosts had the most even egg distributions. We conclude that pre-patch experience of competitors may lead to a significant change of mutual interference patterns in egg-laying A. fuscicollis wasps.

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