Galls as a Disputed Resource for Female Parasitoid Wasps Contests


We investigated how the parasitoid Torymus sp. (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) attacking galls of Schismatodiplosis lantanae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) behaves in the presence of a conspecific female competitor in the patch. Presence of a competitor greatly changed resident exploitation behavior. Wasps alone spent more time in gall exploitation behaviors (walk-antennate and probe) and in post-oviposition behaviors (stationary and groom), and when intruders were present they spent more time walking. The attack strategy was through threatening: raising wings and pointing the antennae towards the opponent. Different from theoretical expectations, residents were not always the attacker. Number of galls in the patch and female wasp size did not affect contest outcomes, although gall exploitation time and time on leaf were significant factors for the probability of having attacks. Overall, the study highlights the fact that intruder interest in the host was the main cause of contests and also this is a unique report both in terms of the target species and the nature of the disputed resource, a gall-inducer inside a singular spatial unit, the gall.

Share and Cite:

Dell’Aglio, D. and Mendonça Jr., M. (2015) Galls as a Disputed Resource for Female Parasitoid Wasps Contests. Advances in Entomology, 3, 86-93. doi: 10.4236/ae.2015.33010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Petersen, G. and Hardy, I.C.W. (1996) The Importance of Being Larger: Parasitoid Intruder-Owner Contests and Their Implications for Clutch Size. Animal Behaviour, 51, 1363-1373.
[2] Riechert, S.E. (1998) Game Theory and Animal Contests. In: Game Theory and Animal Behavior, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 64-93.
[3] Maynard-Smith, J. (1982) Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[4] Hammerstein, P. (1998) What Is Evolutionary Game Theory? In: Game Theory and Animal Behavior, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 3-15.
[5] Maynard-Smith, J. and Parker, G.A. (1976) The Logic of Asymmetric Contests. Animal Behaviour, 24, 159-175.
[6] Hardy, I.C.W., Goubault, M. and Batchelor, T.P. (2013) Hymenopteran Contests and Agonistic Behaviour. In: Animal Contests, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 147-177.
[7] Hammerstein, P. (1981) The Role of Asymmetries in Animal Contests. Animal Behaviour, 29, 193-205.
[8] Alcock, J. (2009) Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach. Sinauer Associates Publishers, Sunderland, MA.
[9] Hurd, P.L. (2006) Resource Holding Potential, Subjective Resource Value, and Game Theoretical Models of Aggressiveness Signalling. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 241, 639-648.
[10] Van Baalen, M. and Hemerik, L. (2008) Parasitoid Fitness: From a Simple Idea to an Intricate Concept. In: Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids: From Theoretical Approaches to Field Applications, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK, 31-50.
[11] Van Alphen, J.J.M., Bernstein, C. and Driessen, G. (2003) Information Acquisition and Time Allocation in Insect Parasitoids. Evolution, 18, 81-87.
[12] Godfray, H.C.J. (1994) Parasitoids: Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology. Princeton University Press Books, Princeton.
[13] Van Alphen, J.J.M. and Visser, M.E. (1990) Superparasitism as an Adaptive Strategy for Insect Parasitoids. Annual Review of Entomology, 35, 59-79.
[14] Field, S.A., Keller, M.A. and Calbert, G. (1997) The Pay-Off from Superparasitism in the Egg Parasitoid Trissolcus basalis, in Relation to Patch Defence. Ecological Entomology, 22, 142-149.
[15] Hardy, I.C.W. and Blackburn, T.M. (1991) Brood Guarding in a Bethylid Wasp. Ecological Entomology, 16, 55-62.
[16] Goubault, M., Scott, D. and Hardy, I.C.W. (2007) The Importance of Offspring Value: Maternal Defence in Parasitoid Contests. Animal behaviour, 74, 437-446.
[17] Visser, M.E., Van Alphen, J.J.M. and Hemerik, L. (1992) Adaptive Superparasitism and Patch Time Allocation in Solitary Parasitoids: An ESS Model. Journal of Animal Ecology, 61, 93-101.
[18] Goubault, M., Outreman, Y., Poinsot, D. and Cortesero, A.M. (2005) Patch Exploitation Strategies of Parasitic Wasps under Intraspecific Competition. Behavioral Ecology, 16, 693-701.
[19] Field, S.A. and Calbert, G. (1999) Don’t Count Your Eggs before They’re Parasitized: Contest Resolution and the Trade-Offs during Patch Defense in a Parasitoid Wasp. Behavioral Ecology, 10, 122-127.
[20] Humphries, E.L., Hebblethwaite, A.J., Batchelor, T.P. and Hardy, I.C.W. (2006) The Importance of Valuing Resources: Host Weight and Contender Age as Determinants of Parasitoid Wasp Contest Outcomes. Animal behaviour, 72, 891- 898.
[21] Stokkebo, S. and Hardy, I.C.W. (2000) The Importance of Being Gravid: Egg Load and Contest Outcome in a Parasitoid Wasp. Animal behaviour, 59, 1111-1118.
[22] Weis, A.E. (1983) Patterns of Parasitism by Torymus capite on Hosts Distributed in Small Patches. Journal of Animal Ecology, 52, 867-877.
[23] Gagné, R.J. (1994) The Gall Midges of the Neotropical Region. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.
[24] Moura, M.Z.D., Soares, G.L.G. and dos Santos Isaias, R.M. (2008) Species-Specific Changes in Tissue Morphogenesis Induced by Two Arthropod Leaf Gallers in Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae). Australian Journal of Botany, 56, 153- 160.
[25] Hänninen, L. and Pastell, M. (2009) CowLog: Open Source Software for Coding Behaviors from Digital Video. Behavior Research Methods, 41, 472-476.
[26] R Core Team (2013) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.
[27] Hardy, I.C.W. and Field, S.A. (1998) Logistic Analysis of Animal Contests. Animal Behaviour, 58, 787-792.
[28] Field, S.A. (1998) Patch Exploitation, Patch-Leaving and Pre-Emptive Patch Defence in the Parasitoid Wasp Trissolcus basalis (Insecta: Scelionidae). Ethology, 104, 323-338.
[29] Field, S.A., Calbert, G. and Keller, M.A. (1998) Patch Defence in the Parasitoid Wasp Trissolcus basalis (Insecta: Scelionidae): The Time Structure of Pairwise Contests, and the “Waiting Game”. Ethology, 104, 821-840.
[30] Bentley, T., Hull, T.T., Hardy, I.C.W. and Goubault, M. (2009) The Elusive Paradox: Owner-Intruder Roles, Strategies, and Outcomes in Parasitoid Contests. Behavioral Ecology, 20, 296-304.
[31] Leimar, O. and Enquist, M. (1984) Effects of Asymmetries in Owner-Intruder Conflicts. Journal of theoretical Biology, 111, 475-491.
[32] Mohamad, R., Monge, J. and Goubault, M. (2010) Can Subjective Resource Value Affect Aggressiveness and Contest Outcome in Parasitoid Wasps? Animal Behaviour, 80, 629-636.
[33] Mohamad, R., Monge, J.-P. and Goubault, M. (2012) Wait or Fight? Ownership Asymmetry Affects Contest Behaviors in a Parasitoid Wasp. Behavioral Ecology, 23, 1330-1337.
[34] Plantegenest, M., Outreman, Y., Goubault, M. and Wajnberg, E. (2004) Parasitoids Flip a Coin before Deciding to Superparasitize. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73, 802-806.
[35] Mohamad, R., Monge, J. and Goubault, M. (2011) Agonistic Interactions and Their Implications for Parasitoid Species Coexistence. Behavioral Ecology, 22, 1114-1122.
[36] Le Lann, C., Outreman, Y., van Alphen, J.J.M., Krespi, L., Pierre, J. and van Baaren, J. (2008) Do Past Experience and Competitive Ability Influence Foraging Strategies of Parasitoids under Interspecific Competition? Ecological Entomology, 33, 691-700.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.