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Could different environmental conditions select for different flight characteristics in sexual and asexual parasitoid Venturia canescens?

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Lukas, J., Bernstein, C., Gu, H.N. and Dorn, S. (2010) Could different environmental conditions select for different flight characteristics in sexual and asexual parasitoid Venturia canescens? Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata, 136 (1). pp. 80-88. ISSN 0013-8703

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2010.01000.x


In the parasitoid Venturia canescens Gravenhorst (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), asexual and sexual wasps coexist in the field in the Mediterranean basin, but only the asexual strain is present indoors. The sexual strain dominates outdoors despite the demographic costs associated with the production of males and mate location. The present study tests whether females of the sexual and asexual strains of V. canescens differ in flight characteristics in line with the differences of their preferred habitats and enquires whether these differences might contribute to the persistence of sexually reproducing individuals in the vicinity of asexual counterparts. The results show that sexual female wasps are smaller than their asexual counterparts. The size of wasps has a strong influence on flight parameters, with larger animals generally being better fliers. In wasps of approximately the same size, sexual wasps fly faster than their asexual counterparts under experimental laboratory conditions, in terms of both the average speed over the observation period as well as the longest single flight. Sexual wasps also perform fewer flights to cover the same distance. Sexual wasps have higher wing loading than asexual ones of the same size, which could have contributed to the observed differences in speed between individuals of both reproductive modes. There are no significant differences between the two reproductive modes in the parameters related to the distance traversed or the time spent in flight. This study shows clear differences in the flight behaviour of sexual and asexual V. canescens. Together with previous results, this finding suggests differential adaptations to their preferred habitats. These differences might ease the competition between modes of reproduction through niche and habitat differentiation and might help to explain their coexistence on a geographical scale.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:dispersal flight capacity sexual reproduction Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae parasitizing galleria-mellonella cydia-pomonella competitive coexistence nemeritis-canescens anagasta-kuehniella host exploitation trade-off performance lepidoptera populations Entomology
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:17 Jan 2023 01:30
Last Modified:17 Jan 2023 01:30

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