Chemical cues enable female parasitic wasps to locate the eggs, larvae, or other life stages of the insects in or on which they place their eggs. These chemical signals, or semiochemicals, may be produced by the hosts and/or by the plants on which the hosts feed. The composition of the chemical signal often differs with different species of hosts or with different plants. New evidence suggests that the wasps exploit semiochemicals emitted by plants in response to insect herbivore feeding. The wasps learn to respond to the different blends of chemicals that indicate the location of their hosts and they can be trained to respond to a specific odor blend. Thus, it may be possible to increase their effectiveness for biological control by conditioning them, prior to their release, to search for a target pest in a particular crop. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science