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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger

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Häußling, B; Lienenlüke, J; Stökl, J: The preference of Trichopria drosophilae for pupae of Drosophila suzukii is independent of host size, Scientific Reports, 11(995) (2021), doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80355-5
Controlling the cosmopolitan pest Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila) is a challenge for fruit growers. A promising agent for biological control of that pest are parasitoid wasps. Especially the widespread pupal parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae had shown the ability to parasitise the pest fly. However, as a biocontrol agent, parasitoids can only be effective when they prefer the pest to other insects. Until now studies have been inconsistent concerning the preference of T. drosophilae for D. suzukii and whether the preference depends on pupal volume. To clarify this inconsistency, we used video recordings of parasitisation experiments with a set up to observe the direct host preference of the parasitoid. Additionally, the volume of each host pupa was measured. We found significant preference of T. drosophilae for D. suzukii pupae independent of the pupal size and of the host species the wasps were reared on. The article also discusses the sex ratio and the success of the parasitoid in the different pupae characteristics.
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