Host selection by the heteronomous hyperparasitoid Encarsia pergandiella: multiplechoice tests using Bemisia argentifolii as primary host Academic Article uri icon


  • The ovipositional patterns of the heteronomous hyperparasitoid Encarsia pergandiella Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) in the presence of its primary host Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), and in the presence or absence of conspecific and heterospecific secondary hosts (Encarsia formosa Gahan and Eretmocerus mundus Mercer; Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) were examined to assess host species preferences. Host preferences by heteronomous hyperparasitoids may affect the relative abundance of co-occurring parasitoid species and may influence host population suppression by the parasitoid community. Four combinations of hosts were tested: (1) B. argentifolii, E. mundus, and E. formosa, (2) B. argentifolii, E. formosa, and E. pergandiella, (3) B. argentifolii, E. mundus, and E. pergandiella, and, (4) B. argentifolii, E. mundus, E. formosa, and E. pergandiella. Arrays of hosts (24) were constructed in Petri dishes using leaf disks, each bearing one host. Thirty arrays of each host combination were exposed to single females for 6 h. All hosts were dissected to determine number of eggs per host. Encarsia pergandiella parasitized E. formosa hosts as frequently as E. mundus hosts. However, E. pergandiella parasitized either of these heterospecific hosts more frequently than conspecific hosts in treatments including two secondary host species. When a third parasitoid species was included in host arrays, E. pergandiella parasitized conspecific hosts as frequently as heterospecific hosts. Developmental stage of the hosts did not significantly influence host species selection by E. pergandiella. Our results indicate that host selection and oviposition by heteronomous hyperparasitoids like E. pergandiella, vary with the composition of hosts available for parasitization, and suggest a preference for heterospecific over conspecific secondary hosts.

published proceedings

  • Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

author list (cited authors)

  • Bogrn, C. E., & Heinz, K. M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Bogr├ín, Carlos E||Heinz, Kevin M

publication date

  • January 2002