Oviposition and offspring survival within eggs of European corn borer: discrimination of the host embryo by female Trichogramma nubilale

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Abstract

Oviposition preference and offspring survival relative to the location of the host embryo was tested in the egg parasitoid Trichogramma nubilale on European corn borer host eggs. Females preferentially oviposited near to the embryo on hosts about 24 h old. Survival of Trichogramma was lower when females oviposited far from the embryo, and a higher proportion of host embryos hatched. Females did not show preferences for drilling or oviposition within very young hosts relative to where the embryo would develop, and these eggs did not produce wasps or host larvae. Female behavior was apparently adaptive in day-old hosts, not to very young hosts.

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