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The Impact of Parasitoids On Natural Populations of Temperate Woodland Drosophila

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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).

The species complex of temperate woodland Drosophila and its hymenopterous parasitoids was studied to elucidate the importance of parasitization as a mortality factor of Drosophila populations. A total of 5841 Drosophila and 801 parasitoids emerged from the collected field samples, indicating an overall parasitization rate of 12.1 %. Parasitization rates during a period of 9 weeks in midsummer were considerably higher, with a mean rate of 32.5 % . Parasitization rates in some substrate types, i.e. sap fluxes of wounded trees, ranged from 70% to 100%, indicating that risks of parasitization for Drosophila species that specialize on this substrate are very high, whereas parasitoids specialized on this microhabitat may experience high intra- and interspecific competition for hosts. It is concluded that parasitization is an important mortality factor during a considerable part of the Drosophila breeding season.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Population Biology, University of Leiden, Kaiserstraat 63, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


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