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Few empirical studies have directly explored the association between Buchnera aphidicola (Enterobacteriales: Enterobacteriaceae), the primary endosymbiont of aphids, and the life history strategies of aphid parasitoids. A series of paired-choice experiments were conducted to explore the preference of the parasitoid Lysiphlebus ambiguus Halliday (Hymenoptera: Aphididae) for symbiotic and aposymbiotic Aphis fabae Scopoli (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the suitability of these hosts for parasitoid development. When given a choice between symbiotic and aposymbiotic aphids of the same instar, the parasitoid significantly preferred symbiotic over aposymbiotic aphids only during the later instars (L4 and adult). The suitability of aposymbiotic aphids for parasitoid development was equal to that of symbiotic aphids in terms of survivorship and sex ratio, but was significantly lower than that of symbiotic aphids for L4 and adult instars in development rate and/or female adult size. When given a choice between similar-sized symbiotic L2 and aposymbiotic L4 aphids, the parasitoid preferred the former. No significant differences in preference or host suitability were demonstrated when the parasitoid was given a choice between different instars of aposymbiotic aphids. While parasitoid lifetime fecundity increased with aphid instar at the time of oviposition, there was no significant influence of previous development from symbiotic versus aposymbiotic aphids. These results suggest that while L. ambiguus can discriminate between symbiotic and aposymbiotic A. fabae during later instars and when the aphids are of a similar size, the primary endosymbiont is not needed for successful parasitoid development; and its absence only compromises parasitoid growth reared from later instar aposymbiotic host.