Bo Zhang, Baoping Li, Ling Meng
Journal of Insect Science 14 (103), 1-11, (1 August 2014) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.014.103
KEYWORDS: development, fitness, life history, koinobiont, superparasitism, parasitoids
The domed fitness functions are suggested to describe developmental patterns of progeny parasitoids in relation to host age at oviposition in solitary koinobint parasitoids that are engaged in single parasitism, but few studies have investigated the applicability of the functions as related to superparasitism. The present study was designed to compare fitness functions between single parasitism and superparasitism by examining developmental patterns of Meteorus pulchricornis (Wesmael) (Hymneoptera: Braconidae) progeny in relation to the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), either singly parasitized or self-superparasitized as second—fifth instar larvae. Self-superparasitism caused deleterious effects on the fitness-related traits of parasitoid progeny, as demonstrated by a prolonged egg-to-adult emergence time, a smaller body size, and shorter longevity of the emerging adults, and decreased survival to adult emergence. While the domed fitness function was detected for development time, survival, adult body size, and longevity in relation to host larvae that were singly parasitized, the function was observed only for progeny survival in relation to host larvae that were self-superparasitized. This study suggests that developmental fitness functions with self-superparasitism can deviate from those with single parasitism in solitary koinobiont parasitoids.