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Host-habitat location by the parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

Journal of forensic sciences (2013-08-29)
Christine Frederickx, Jessica Dekeirsschieter, Francois J Verheggen, Eric Haubruge
ABSTRACT

This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host-habitat location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. Nasonia vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in association with decaying carrion. Behavioral assays were used to investigate the host-habitat searching behavior under different scenarios. First, we demonstrated N. vitripennis to be significantly attracted toward odorant cues associated with decaying meat. The biological activity of nine of the volatile molecules constituting the odor of decaying meat was tested on the searching behavior of parasitoid females through two complementary chemoecological approaches: electroantennography (EAG) and olfactometry bioassays. Butanoic acid and butan-1-ol elicited high olfactory responses, but no attraction was induced by these two chemicals. Behavioral assays showed that, among the VOCs tested, methyldisulfanylmethane (DMDS) was the only volatile chemical to induce attraction in N. vitripennis.

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