Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 49–55 | Cite as

Differences in food plant species of the polyphagous herbivore Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) influence host searching behavior of its larval parasitoid, Cotesia kariyai (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

  • Kazumu Kuramitsu
  • Edelyn Joy M. Vicencio
  • Yooichi KainohEmail author
Original Paper


In tri-trophic interactions among plants, herbivorous insects, and parasitoids, the food plant species of herbivores may affect parasitoid performance, such as host searching behavior and development and survival of immature parasitoids in the host body. Here, we tested the effects of food plant species of the host Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on host searching behavior (i.e., flight responses to host-infested plant volatiles [HIPVs] and antennal responses to host feces or fecal extract) by the larval parasitoid Cotesia kariyai (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). In laboratory tests, female wasps responded differentially to HIPVs and feces produced from host caterpillars on different diets. Female wasps showed stronger responses to HIPVs from infested maize than to those from infested daikon. Similarly, wasps showed stronger contact responses to feces from caterpillars fed on maize or kidney bean than to those fed on daikon or an artificial diet. Previous studies demonstrated that maize-fed caterpillars are suitable hosts, whereas daikon-fed caterpillars are unsuitable hosts, for parasitism by C. kariyai. Therefore, our results indicate that female wasps show stronger responses to the chemicals related to suitable hosts than to those of unsuitable hosts.


HIPV Host searching Host feces Insect–plant interaction Kairomone Tri-trophic interaction 



This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (15J00763) to KK.


  1. Afsheen S, Wang X, Li R, Zhu C, Lou Y (2008) Differential attraction of parasitoids in relation to specificity of kairomones from herbivores and their by-products. Insect Sci 15:381–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arimura G, Matsui K, Takabayashi J (2009) Chemical and molecular ecology of herbivore-induced plant volatiles: proximate factors and their ultimate functions. Plant Cell Physiol 50:911–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fujiwara C, Takabayashi J, Yano S (2000) Effects of host-food plant species on parasitization rates of Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) by a parasitoid, Cotesia kariyai (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Appl Entomol Zool 35:131–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fukushima J, Kainoh H, Honda H, Takabayashi J (2001) Learning of host-infested plant volatiles in the larval parasitoid Cotesia kariyai. Entomol Exp Appl 99:341–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Godfray HCJ (1994) Parasitoids: behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  6. Gols R, Harvey JA (2009) Plant-mediated effects in the Brassicaceae on the performance and behaviour of parasitoids. Phytochem Rev 8:187–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ichiki TR, Tabata J, Nakahara Y, Kainoh Y, Nakamura S (2014) Effects of food plants of host herbivore on development of a midgut-resident tachinid parasitoid, Compsilura concinnata (Diptera: Tachinidae), and two hemocoel-resident parasitoids. Ann Entomol Soc Am 107:461–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Issiki S (ed) (1987) Early stages of Japanese moths in color, vol 1. Hoikusha Publishing Co., Ltd., Osaka, pp. 82–83 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  9. Iwao S (1959) Phase variation in the armyworm, Leucania unipuncta Haworth. IV. Phase difference in the range of food tolerance of the final instar larvae. Jpn J Appl Entomol Zool 3:164–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology (2006) Major insect and other pests of economic plants in Japan. Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  11. Kuramitsu K, Ichiki TR, Nakamura S, Kainoh Y (2016) Host plants species of the herbivorous insect Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) affect successful parasitism of the larval parasitoid Cotesia kariyai (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Biocontrol Sci Technol 26:1009–1019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liu S, Jiang L (2003) Differential parasitism of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) larvae by the parasitoid Cotesia plutellae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on two host plant species. Bull Entomol Res 93:65–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mandour NS, Kainoh Y, Ozawa R, Uefune M, Takabayashi J (2011) Effects of time after last herbivory on the attraction of corn plants infested with common armyworms to a parasitic wasp Cotesia kariyai. J Chem Ecol 37:267–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McCormick AC, Unsicker SB, Gershenzon J (2012) The specificity of herbivore-induced plant volatiles in attracting herbivore enemies. Trends Plant Sci 17:303–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nordlund DA, Sauls CE (1981) Kairomones and their use for management of entomophagous insects. XI. Effect of host plant on kairomonal activity of frass from Heliothis zea larvae for the parasitoid, Microplitis croceipes. J Chem Ecol 6:1057–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ode PJ (2013) Plant defences and parasitoid chemical ecology. In: Wajnberg E, Colazza S (eds) Chemical ecology of insect parasitoids. Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, pp 11–36Google Scholar
  17. Ozawa R, Shiojiri K, Sabelis MW, Takabayashi J (2008) Maize plants sprayed with either jasmonic acid or its precursor, methyl linolenate, attract armyworm parasitoids, but the composition of attractants differs. Entomol Exp Appl 129:189–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Price PW, Bouton CE, Gross P, McPheron BA, Thompson JN, Weis AE (1980) Interactions among three trophic levels: influence of plants on interactions between insect herbivores and natural enemies. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 11:41–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. R Core Team (2015) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  20. Roth JP, King EG, Thompson AC (1978) Host location behavior by the tachinid, Lixophaga diatraeae. Environ Entomol 7:794–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sato Y, Tanaka T (1984) Effect of the number of parasitoid (Apanteles kariyai) eggs [Hym.: Braconidae] on the growth of host (Leucania separata) larvae [Lep.: Noctuidae]. Entomophaga 29:21–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmidt JM (1991) The role of physical factors in tritrophic interactions. Redia 74:43–93Google Scholar
  23. Schoonhoven LM, van Loon JJA, Dicke M (2005) Insect-plant biology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  24. Takabayashi J, Takahashi S (1986a) Effects of kairomone in the host searching behavior of Apanteles kariyai Watanabe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of the common armyworm, Pseudaletia separata Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). II. Isolation and identification of arrestants produced by the host larvae. Appl Entomol Zool 21:114–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Takabayashi J, Takahashi S (1986b) Effects of kairomone in the host searching behavior of Apanteles kariyai Watanabe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of the common armyworm, Pseudaletia separata Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). III. Synthesis and bioassay of arrestants and related compounds. Appl Entomol Zool 21:519–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Takabayashi J, Takahashi S (1988) Effect of the kairomone on the parasitization rates of Apanteles kariyai to Pseudaletia separata. J Pestic Sci 13:283–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Takabayashi J, Noda T, Takahashi S (1985) Effects of kairomone in the host searching behavior of Apanteles kariyai Watanabe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of the common armyworm, Pseudaletia separata Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). I. Presence of arresting stimulants produced by the host larvae. Appl Entomol Zool 20:484–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Takabayashi J, Noda T, Takahashi S (1991) Plants produce attractants for Apanteles kariyai, a parasitoid of Pseudaletia separata; cases of ‘communication’ and ‘misunderstanding’ in parasitoid-plant interactions. Appl Entomol Zool 26:237–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Takabayashi J, Takahashi S, Dicke M, Posthumus MA (1995) Developmental stage of herbivore Pseudaletia separata affects production of herbivore-induced synomone by corn plants. J Chem Ecol 21:273–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Thanikkul P, Piyasaengthong N, Menezes-Netto AC, Taylor D, Kainoh Y (2017) Effects of quantitative and qualitative differences in volatiles from host- and nonhost-infested maize on the attraction of the larval parasitoid Cotesia kariyai. Entomol Exp Appl 163:60–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Turlings TCJ, Erb M (2018) Tritrophic interactions mediated by herbivore- induced plant volatiles: mechanisms, ecological relevance, and application potential. Annu Rev Entomol 63:433–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vet LEM, Dicke M (1992) Ecology of infochemical use by natural enemies in a tritrophic context. Annu Rev Entomol 37:141–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceChiyoda-kuJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Food ScienceUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosLos BañosPhilippines
  4. 4.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations