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Genetic Variation in the Pattern of Initial Oviposition Behaviour of Leptopilina Heterotoma Thomson (=Pseudeucoila Bochei Weld), a Parasite of Drosophila Melanogaster

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Females of the strains Leiden and Storrs and of the F 1 and F2 offspring of the cynipid wasp Leptopilina heterotoma Thomson (= Pseudeucoila bochei Weld) were compared in parasitization behaviour during 15 successive ovipositions in larvae of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Host mortality was high in the Leiden strain, low in the Storrs strain and intermediate in the F1. The F2 generations tended to their female parental strain, which indicates additive genetic effects on mortality. The success of reproduction estimated by the number of parasite eggs related to the number of larvae presented showed the same kind of variation between the strains. The strains did not differ in mean duration of searching before oviposition. Experience obtained during the successive parasitizations did not influence the mean searching time. A number of larvae was not accepted for oviposition by the wasps in all groups. The rejection frequency increased in all groups during the experiment; probably by the improvement of the capacity to examine the host. The duration of an oviposition act decreased during the experiment in all groups. The sequences of two ovipositions resulting in dead larvae (D-D) or living larvae (L-L) were more frequent than might be expected, except for the Storrs strain. The clustering was related to the experience obtained. Preening of abdominal parts was more frequent in the Storrs- than in the Leiden strain. It appeared to be an element of the oviposition behaviour and occurred most frequently immediately upon an oviposition act and in particular if the larva stayed alive. Frequencies of preening in the hybrid generations may be explained by dominance of the high preening tendency in the Storrs strain.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Genetics, Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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