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Keywords:

  • Cotesia kariyai;
  • larval parasitoid;
  • associative learning;
  • wind tunnel;
  • experience;
  • host feces;
  • host-infested plant volatiles;
  • host-infested plant location

Abstract

The ability to learn plant volatiles in Cotesia kariyai females was examined by wind tunnel bioassays. Searching experience on a host-infested corn plant increased subsequent flight responses of females to the infested plant. Females experiencing host by-products together with the volatiles extracted from infested leaves one time showed an increased response. However, such behavioral changes were not observed in females which experienced only the host by-products or the volatiles. Thus, the increased response is considered to be preference learning. Multiple experiences of C. kariyai with host by-products together with the volatiles did not increase their flight response to the volatiles. Furthermore, this learned response gradually decreased within 2 days. These behavioral modifications based on experience would be advantageous for C. kariyai to locate their polyphagous hosts efficiently.