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Effect of host and microhabitat availability on brood-guarding behavior of Telenomus podisi Ashmead and Trissolcus cosmopeplae (Gahan)

Grant number: 19/16749-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 19, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:José Roberto Postali Parra
Grantee:Mikaela Terra Souza
Supervisor: Jacques Brodeur
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université de Montréal, Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:17/24164-3 - Trichogramma pretiosum Riley, 1879 storage in low temperatures as release logistic in applied biological control, BP.IC


A thorough understanding of parasitoid life history strategies is crucial to their efficient use as biological control agents in the fields and greenhouses of the world. For stink bug egg parasitoids, host location is made difficult by their small size, poor flight ability, and sparse host distribution. To optimize their investment once they do find hosts, females of some wasp species like Telenomus podisi Ashmead and Trissolcus cosmopeplae (Gahan) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) will patrol the parasitized egg mass for up to 24 h, protecting their offspring against predation and superparasitism. These brood guarding parasitoids exhibit different activity levels by doing so, alternating between a resting behavior on the host egg mass and an exploratory behavior on and around it. This host exploitation strategy was mostly studied in laboratory conditions, but recent observations in controlled and natural settings are calling for an investigation of the spatial factors that influence how egg parasitoids exhibit brood guarding. Specifically, a small, artificial environment seems to increase brood guarding incidence and duration, which could lead to overestimating the significance of this behavior in the open field. So the objetives in this research is measure the duration of active and inactive brood guarding behavior under different combinations of Petri dish and egg mass size, while also testing for species-specific effects. In order to see the effect of host and microhabitat availability on brood-guarding behavior of T. podisi and T. cosmopeplae. (AU)

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