Host plants impact courtship vibration transmission and mating success of a parasitoid wasp, Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)
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Host plants provide food, shelter, and mating habitats for herbivorous and parasitoid insects. Yet each plant species is a microhabitat with distinct chemical and physical attributes that may drive selection and diversification of insects. This study examines differences in courtship vibration signal transmission through leaves of three host plant species that vary in physical characteristics (leaf tissue density, leaf width and percent moisture) and how signal transmission relates to mating success for a parasitoid wasp. The vibration signals transmit with a longer duration and a higher relative amplitude in the host plant leaves of the species with the lowest leaf tissue density, which was also the plant type with the highest mating frequency. Host plants may be a selective force on courtship vibration signals and may contribute to the behavioral or genetic divergence of populations on different host plant species. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
author list (cited authors)
Joyce, A. L., White, W. H., & Medina, R. F.