Inter-specific competition and competition-free space in the tephritid parasitoids Utetes anastrephae and Doryctobracon areolatus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opiinae)
Article first published online: 14 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Royal Entomological Society
Volume 38, Issue 5, pages 485–496, October 2013
How to Cite
ALUJA, M., OVRUSKI, S. M., SIVINSKI, J., CÓRDOVA-GARCÍA, G., SCHLISERMAN, P., NUÑEZ-CAMPERO, S. R. and ORDANO, M. (2013), Inter-specific competition and competition-free space in the tephritid parasitoids Utetes anastrephae and Doryctobracon areolatus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opiinae). Ecological Entomology, 38: 485–496. doi: 10.1111/een.12039
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 14 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 12 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 AUG 2012
- Mexican Campaña Nacional Contra Moscas de la Fruta (Dirección General de Sanidad Vegetal—Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación)
- Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México. Grant Number: 46846
- United States Department of Agriculture (Agricultural Research Service)
- Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica de Argentina (ANCyT)
- Fondo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología. Grant Number: 2402 and 0393
- Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET). Grant Number: 5129/05
- Proyecto de Investigación Conjunta en el marco del Acuerdo de Cooperación Internacional CONICET de Argentina y CONACyT de México . Grant Number: 2311/04
- Sabbatical Year Fellowship. Grant Number: 79449
- Competitor-free space;
- fruit flies;
- natural enemy guilds;
Utetes anastrephae (Viereck) and Doryctobracon areolatus (Szépligeti) are common, native, Neotropical braconid parasitoids of tephritid fruit flies that are sympatric and often found attacking the same host.
The coexistence of the two species may be due in part to the longer ovipositor of D. areolatus that permits it to attack larvae in larger fruit than can U. anastrephae. This increases its potential host range and provides ‘competitor-free space’.
The capacity of U. anastrephae to persist in smaller fruit, exploitable by D. areolatus, suggested that it was a superior competitor in multiparasitised hosts. As predicted U. anastrephae had a competitive advantage over D. areolatus and this advantage occurred regardless of the order in which the two parasitoids attacked. Although we could not identify the precise mechanisms used for elimination of competitors, a possible cause is suggested by the formidable mandibles of the first-instar U. anastrephae.
However, D. areolatus survival increased significantly if eggs had been deposited 24 h prior to exposure to U. anastrephae. Older D. areolatus larvae might be more competitive after a period of development.
Utetes anastrephae females were less likely to oviposit into hosts previously attacked by D. areolatus than vice versa. This was a second case of the relatively rare phenomenon of inter-specific discrimination of a previously exploited host within the opiine braconid parasitoids of frugivorous tephritids.