Journal of chemical ecology

Different food sources affect the gustatory response of Anaphes iole, an egg parasitoid of Lygus Spp.

PMID 12857031


The gustatory response of female Anaphes iole wasps to naturally occurring carbohydrates, a commercial food source, and host (Lygus lineolaris) frass was determined. Wasps responded to all 14 of the sugars at the highest concentration tested (2 M). At this concentration, sucrose, glucose, maltose, melezitose, fructose, and erlose all elicited > 90% acceptance. The lowest concentration that evoked a response (= acceptance threshold) for these sugars was < 1/256 M, with the exception of glucose. which was 1/16 M. Raffinose, trehalose, mannose, galactose, melibiose, rhamnose, stachyose, and lactose led to < 50% gustatory response by the wasps at 2 M, and were categorized as "moderately stimulatory sugars." The acceptance threshold for these sugars was > 1/4 M, with the exception of raffinose, which was 1/256 M. In trials with moderately stimulatory sugars combined with either sucrose or maltose, only the rhamnose+maltose mixture significantly inhibited the gustatory response of A. iole. Food and water deprived parasitoids readily accepted the moderately stimulatory sugars. Eliminade, a commercial food supplement, was readily accepted (92%) by A. iole. Conversely, the wasps did not feed on host frass. Chemical analysis of L. lineolaris frass demonstrated the presence of glucose, sucrose, fructose, trehalulose, and melezitose, apparently at concentrations below those perceived by A. iole. The latter two compounds were previously known only from homopteran honeydew (trehalulose and melezitose) and bacteria (trehalulose). With respect to gustatory response to nectar and honeydew sugars, A. iole differs markedly from other hymenopterans that have been studied in that this parsitoid accepted all the naturally occurring sugars with which it was tested. Moreover, this parasitoid had lower acceptance thresholds than other hymenopterans for many of the sugars. This broad and sensitive range of gustatory perception might be helpful in the development of a food source for the wasp that is not exploited by the host.

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