Flight Toward a Learned Odor and Factors Inducing Landing of FemaleBrachymeria intermedia (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae), a Parasitoid of the Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)

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Abstract

Through a single oviposition experience in the presence of vanilla odor, female Brachymeria intermedia were conditioned to fly toward a source of vanilla odor in a wind tunnel. Conditioning was an associative process, and wasps were able to fly toward odor sources at much lower doses than the dose used in conditioning. Furthermore, upon approaching vanilla-scented paper rolls hung on a vertical cylinder, conditioned wasps landed on them readily, whereas few wasps landed on real pupae. However, more wasps reached pupae or pupal cases than white paper rolls. Visual and olfactory cues appeared to mediate the foraging behavior of wasps in conflicting ways. Therefore, the extent to which olfactory learning mediates foraging success in this species remains unresolved.

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