Foraging behaviours of Diachasmimorpha kraussii (Fullaway) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and its host Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in a nectarine (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch var. nectarina (Aiton) Maxim) orchard

Authors

  • Mark M Ero,

    1. PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment, Private Mail bag Service, Rabaul, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.
    2. Discipline of Biogeosciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
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  • Edward Hamacek,

    1. Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.
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  • Anthony R Clarke

    Corresponding author
    1. Discipline of Biogeosciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
    2. Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity, LPO Box 5012, Bruce, ACT 2617, Australia.
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a.clarke@qut.edu.au

Abstract

Diachasmimorpha kraussii is a larval parasitoid of dacine fruit flies. Host utilisation behaviour, including field foraging behaviour, is poorly known in this species. The diurnal foraging behaviour of D. kraussii and one of its common hosts, Bactrocera tryoni, in a nectarine orchard was concurrently recorded. Observations of mating, resting, feeding and oviposition were taken two-hourly on 42 trees, commencing at 07:00 h and terminating at 17:30 h, for 17 days. Resting and oviposition were common events within the orchard for both species, while mating behaviours were not recorded in the orchard for either species. Feeding was not observed for D. kraussii and was rare for B. tryoni. At the level of the individual tree there was a very weak, but significant correlation between parasitoid and fly abundance over a day, but when broken down to the individual observation periods the correlations were absent, or were weakly significant in an inconsistent manner (i.e. sometimes positively correlated, sometimes negatively correlated). At the orchard level, abundance of the parasitoid was not correlated with adult fly abundance. Results suggest that D. kraussii forage independently to adult B. tryoni, a result consistent with a prediction that their foraging is largely driven by larval or plant damage cues.

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