• Developmental time;
  • growth;
  • parasitism;
  • Plodia interpunctella;
  • resistance;
  • selected populations;
  • Venturia canescens


1. The level of an organism's investment in defences against natural enemies depends on the fitness costs of resisting parasitism and on the costs of maintaining defences in the absence of infection. Heritable variation in resistance suggests that costs exist, but very little is known about the nature or magnitude of these costs in natural populations of animals.

2. A powerful technique for identifying trade-offs between fitness components is the study of correlated responses to artificial selection. We selected for increased resistance in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, following parasitism by the koinobiont parasitoid, Venturia canescens, and measured the cost of resistance to parasitism and the cost of maintaining resistance in the absence of immune challenge during the next generation.

3. Parasitism decreased larval host size, growth, and developmental time and was significantly negatively correlated with the size of surviving host adults. Larvae of the next generation also had a reduced developmental period, whilst the duration of the invulnerable pupal instar was increased. There was no effect on host adult size and related fecundity in the F1 generation.