Journal Article

Oviposition Restraint and Developmental Alterations in the Ectoparasitic Wasp, <i>Nasonia vitripennis</i>, When Utilizing Puparia Resulting From Different Size Maggot Masses of <i>Lucilia illustris</i>, <i>Protophormia terraenovae</i>, and <i>Sarcophaga bullata</i>

in Journal of Medical Entomology

Published on behalf of Entomological Society of America

Volume 49, issue 5, pages 1124-1136
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0022-2585
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 1938-2928 | DOI:

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Adult females of the ectoparasitoid Nasonia vitripennis (Walker) are capable of distinguishing between hosts of different quality, and then correspondingly adjust clutch sizes and sex ratios of the offspring. In this study, we examined whether the size of the maggot mass, and presumably the developmental temperature, influenced the suitability of the resulting fly pupal and pharate adult stages as hosts for N. vitripennis. Three sizes of maggot masses (100; 500; and 1,000 individuals per mass) were selected for use to generate hosts based on previous studies characterizing developmental and heat shock response differences for the flies. For all host species tested (Lucilia illustris, Protophormia terraenovae, and Sarcophaga bullata), the rate of parasitism by N. vitripennis decreased with increasing maggot mass size. When successful parasitism did occur, parasitoid development increased in duration, clutch sizes decreased, mortality from egg hatch to adult emergence elevated, male biased sex ratios were produced, and adult wasp body sizes were truncated with increasing fly larval density. These wasp life history features are consistent with reductions in host quality. Host quality reductions corresponded to production of heat shock proteins 23, 60, and 70. Heat shock protein synthesis appeared to occur at the expense of normal protein production because total hemolymph protein concentrations decreased with increased larval density in maggot masses. These observations argue that use of N. vitripennis in criminal investigations to estimate periods of insect activity or a minimum post mortem interval must take into account the maggot mass history of the hosts used by the wasp.

Keywords: larval aggregation; heat shock; parasitoid; wasp development; predator avoidance strategy

Journal Article.  6846 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Disease Ecology and Epidemiology ; Entomology

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