Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Venoms of Endoparasitic Wasps

  • David Rivers
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3958

During oviposition by endoparasitic wasps, secretions of maternal origin are injected into the host insect along with the egg(s). For many of these endoparasitoids in the families Ichneumonidae and Braconidae, the secretions contain endosymbiotic viruses (e.g., polydnavirus, entomopoxvirus), virus-like particles (VLPs) or ovarian proteins that aid in the manipulation or alteration of the host. Host regulation includes behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes, such as immunosuppression, altered hormone titers, and/or changes in protein expression, which functionally aid in the development of the parasitoid’s larvae. In most cases, the adult female also produces a proteinaceous venom that works synergistically or additively with the viral products. Some species also rely on embryonic factors such as teratocytes that may also contribute to host regulation and immune suppression by endoparasitoids. Typically, one or more of these maternally or egg-derived factors are necessary to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Beard RL (1963) Insect toxins and venoms. Annu Rev Entomol 8: 1–18CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Moreau SJ, Guillot S (2005) Advances and prospects on biosynthesis, structures and functions of venom proteins from parasitic wasps. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 35(11):1209–1223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Piek T (1986) Venoms of the Hymenoptera. Academic Press, London, UK, 570 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Quicke DLJ (1997) Parasitic wasps. Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 470 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Rivers
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUSA