The effect of host starvation on parasitoid brood size in a polyembryonic wasp

Michal Segoli, Ally R. Harari, Amos Bouskila, Tamar Keasar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Offspring of polyembryonic parasitoid wasps (in which each egg divides clonally to produce several individuals inside a host body) adjust their numbers according to the host carrying capacity. Organism: The polyembryonic parasitoid wasp, Copidosoma koehleri, parasitizes the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella. Methods: We starved parasitized host larvae during the wasp embryonic division phase. We recorded host mass and the number of wasps in sub-samples of dissected hosts throughout development and upon pupation and emergence. Results: Starvation significantly reduced larval host mass but this was largely compensated at the pupal stage, probably through delayed pupation. Starved hosts tended to harbour fewer wasps but this effect was marginally non-significant. Conclusions: Wasp offspring do seem to adjust their numbers in response to host starvation, but not strongly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2010


  • Brood size
  • Copidosoma koehleri
  • Host quality
  • Host starvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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