Sex allocation in Telenomus busseolae, a solitary parasitoid of concealed eggs: the influence of host patch size

Bayram A., Salerno G., Conti E., Wajnberg E., Bin F., Kornosor S.

ENTOMOLOGIA EXPERIMENTALIS ET APPLICATA, vol.111, no.2, pp.141-149, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 111 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.0013-8703.2004.00161.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-149


Telenomus busseolae Gahan (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) is an important egg parasitoid of noctuid stem borers of gramineous crops, attacking egg masses of Sesamia spp. Under natural conditions, and whatever the host species attacked, these egg masses are generally concealed under the leaf sheaths or other narrow spaces, and vary greatly in size. In the work presented here, the influence of host patch size (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, or 128 eggs per mass) on the sex ratio and sex sequence pattern of ovipositing T. busseolae was investigated in the laboratory using Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefebvre) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as host. The results are similar to those described for other parasitoids of aggregated hosts, and are in accordance with the Local Mate Competition model. With increasing egg mass size, the overall sex ratio (proportion of males) decreased, although additional males were laid at the end of the sequence in the larger masses (64 and 128 eggs). Sex sequence pattern always followed a males-first strategy, i.e., with a higher proportion of males at the beginning, but the whole sex ratio sequence was influenced by the size of the egg mass. Such results in a parasitoid of concealed eggs are compared to those observed in parasitoids of exposed eggs and discussed in terms of parasitoid reproductive strategies and evolutionary adaptations.