Suspending cocoons to evade ant predation in Meteorus pulchricornis, a braconid parasitoid of exposed-living lepidopteran larvae
Version of Record online: 25 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Entomological Society of Japan
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 107–109, March 2009
How to Cite
SHIRAI, S. and MAETO, K. (2009), Suspending cocoons to evade ant predation in Meteorus pulchricornis, a braconid parasitoid of exposed-living lepidopteran larvae. Entomological Science, 12: 107–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8298.2009.00301.x
- Issue online: 25 MAR 2009
- Version of Record online: 25 MAR 2009
- Received 27 June 2008; accepted 25 September 2008.
- cocoon age;
- Crematogaster matsumurai;
- parasitic wasps;
We tested the hypothesis that cocoon suspension by a thread in hymenopteran parasitoids is a defense tactic against predators, by comparing predation against suspended and non-suspended cocoons of the braconid wasp Meteorus pulchricornis on a Quercus phillyraeoides hedge on which workers of the common small ant Crematogaster matsumurai were foraging. The lost proportion of non-suspended cocoons, which were artificially attached to leaves of Q. phillyraeoides, markedly decreased with cocoon age, indicating a critical phase of predation on young cocoons. No suspended cocoons at age 1–12 h at the beginning of exposure were lost within 12 h, whereas more than 75% of same-aged non-suspended cocoons were lost in the same period. Predation against such young cocoons would be a strong force driving the evolution of cocoon suspension in parasitoids of exposed-living host insects.