Brood guarding in a bethylid wasp

Authors

  • IAN C. W. HARDY,

    1. Department of Biology and Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, and Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
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  • TIM M. BLACKBURN

    1. Department of Biology and Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, and Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
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Dr I. C. W. Hardy, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks. SL5 7PY.

Abstract

Abstract.

  • 1Atypical of the parasitoid Hymenoptera, female Goniozus nephantidis Muesebeck remain with offspring until they pupate. This behaviour will only have evolved if the consequent reduction in fecundity is outweighed by fitness returns.
  • 2G.nephantidis competes for hosts with conspecific and non-conspecific parasitoids. The effectiveness of G.nephantidis at deterring superparasitism and multiparasitism is tested. Brood survivorships were compared when G.nephantidis and Bracon hebetor Say intrude on hosts with the mother present and absent and with offspring at different developmental stages.
  • 3Laying by the intruder reduced brood survivorship. Guarding reduced oviposition on unparasitized hosts by intruding females, and prevented superparasitism of hosts with egg broods. Hosts with larval broods were rarely superparasitized. Multiparasitism was common except on hosts with guarded larval broods, but even here survivorship was reduced.
  • 4Competitive asymmetries determined the outcome of contests for possession of host resources.
  • 5The costs of remaining seem at least partially offset by the prevention of oviposition by competing parasitoids.

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