Factors influencing activity levels in Nasonia vitripennis
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The effects of mating status and competition for suitable hosts on the overall activity and flight behavior of Nasonia vitripennis were investigated by observing the wasps' activity in a terrarium setting. N . vitripennis is a small, nonmigratory wasp that parasitizes fly pupae. This species, as well as other parasitoids, may be used in biological control of pest fly populations. Mated females were found to be significantly more active overall versus virgins for a duration of up to two hours after mating, regardless of whether or not the females were exposed to a suitable host. After a five day duration, there was no significant difference in the activity levels between mated and virgin females. Competition for hosts was shown to significantly increase activity levels when wasps were exposed to hosts which contained larvae from previous conspecific parasitism, but not when the ratio of females per host was increased.