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The ovipositing female of Ooencyrtus telenomicida relies on physiological mechanisms to mediate intrinsic competition with Trissolcus basalis

  • Autori: Cusumano, A; Peri, E; Vinson, SB; Colazza, S
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Ongoing studies by our group showed that the outcome of the intrinsic competition between two solitary egg parasitoids, Trissolcus basalis (Wollaston) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) and Ooencyrtus telenomicida (Vassiliev) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), is dominated by O. telenomicida. In this article we investigated the role played by the ovipositing O. telenomicida female in the suppression of a T. basalis competitor. Laboratory experiments were conducted by allowing an O. telenomicida female to puncture the eggs of Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) with her ovipositor (= no oviposition) or to parasitize them. The results show that O. telenomicida relies on some physiological mechanisms to mediate its interspecific intrinsic competition with T. basalis. In fact, the emergence of T. basalis was strongly reduced in host eggs that were parasitized either before or after being punctured by O. telenomicida at fixed time intervals (5, 15, 30, or 45 h). The low percentage of emergence of T. basalis (ranging from approximately 420%) was a consequence of the delay and growth rate reduction of larval development. Furthermore, the percentage of eclosion of N. viridula nymphs was negatively affected by the O. telenomicida females punctures (96% from healthy host eggs, 4% from punctured host eggs). Host eggs punctured or oviposited in by O. telenomicida showed alterations in the ooplasm including some melanized-like areas near the hole made with the ovipositor; such alterations indicate that the adult parasitoid releases substances that affect the host eggs survival. These results suggest that the O. telenomicida female influences both the physiological interspecific parasitoid-parasitoid interaction, as well as the host-parasitoid interaction, providing, for the first time in egg parasitoids, evidence that physiological suppression of some competitive egg parasitoids is mediated by the ovipositing female.