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Chemo-orientation responses in hymenopteran parasitoids induced by substrate-borne semiochemicals

  • Autori: Colazza, S; Cusumano, A; Lo Giudice, D; Peri, E
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Hymenopteran parasitoids can utilize substrate-borne semiochemicals released by conspecifics or by their hosts, increasing the likelihood of successful mating and host location. According to the literature, two substrate-borne chemo-orientation patterns can occur: (1) biased random searching, a non-directional reaction toward the chemicals (kinesis), and (2) trailfollowing searching, a directional response toward the source emitting the chemical compounds (taxis). These two different strategies can be adopted by parasitoids to locate hosts and mates. In host location, random searching is induced by allelochemicals indirectly associated with the host, whereas trail-following behavior is induced by allelochemicals directly emitted by the target organism. In mate finding, sex pheromones emitted by conspecifics can induce either the random searching or the trail-following behavior, although the spatial distribution of virgin conspecifics could be an important factor driving the evolution of substrate-borne chemo-orientation patterns. The chemical nature of substrate-borne semiochemicals has not yet been fully elucidated. Most studies have shown that crude extracts are biologically active for eliciting parasitoid arrestment response, but few studies have clearly characterized their chemical nature. However, experimental evidence indicates that cuticular lipids located in the external layer of insects’ bodies play a role in parasitoid–parasitoid and host– parasitoid communication. The ecological role of parasitoid chemo-orientation in host and mate location is discussed from a biological control perspective.