Do age and mating status affect olfactory response of the parasitoid, Microplitis croceipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to host-related plant odors? Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Parasitic wasps (parasitoids) use volatile organic compounds released by herbivore-infested plants to locate their hosts. Response of parasitoids to plant odors may be plastic and dependent on their physiological state. Using Microplitis croceipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a relatively specialized larval endoparasitoid of Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), we asked whether age and mating status of parasitoids affect their olfactory response to host-related odors. Methods: Four odor stimuli of varying complexity were selected based on previous reports of parasitoid response to cotton volatiles: cis-3-hexenol (a green leaf volatile), -pinene (a constitutive monoterpene), a 50/50 v/v binary mixture (cis-3-hexenol + -pinene), and H. virescens-infested cotton odors. Female M. croceipes used in Y-tube olfactometer bioassays were either mated or unmated, and grouped 13, 46, and 79 d-old. Female parasitoids used in electroantennogram (EAG) recording were mated and grouped 13, 46, 79 and 1012 d-old. Results: In Y-tube olfactometer bioassays, neither age nor mating status played a major role in the attraction of parasitoids to test odor stimuli, with two exceptions: 46 d-old mated parasitoids showed attraction to the binary mixture, and 13 d-old mated parasitoids showed attraction to H. virescens-infested cotton. Age did not affect EAG response of parasitoids to test stimuli. Conclusions: The present results suggest that age and mating status do not play a major role in modulating olfactory responses of M. croceipes to host-related plant odors. Instead, plasticity of olfactory response may be limited in M. croceipes due to strong innate sensitivity to host-related odor cues.

published proceedings

  • F1000Research

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Burrows, M., Morawo, T., & Fadamiro, H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Burrows, Matthew||Morawo, Tolulope||Fadamiro, Henry

publication date

  • November 2018