Parasitoid wasps' exposure to host-infested plant volatiles affects their olfactory cognition of host-infested plants

Kinuyo Yoneya, Masayoshi Uefune, Junji Takabayashi
Animal Cognition 2018, 21 (1): 79-86
Using Cotesia vestalis, a parasitoid wasp of diamondback moth larvae and three crucifer plant species (cabbage, komatsuna, and Japanese radish), we examined the effects of exposure to host-infested plant volatiles from one plant species on a newly emerged wasp's subsequent olfactory cognition of host-infested plant volatiles from the same or different plant species. The preference of C. vestalis between infested and uninfested plant volatiles was tested in a choice chamber. Volatile-inexperienced wasps significantly preferred infested cabbage and infested radish volatiles, but not infested komatsuna volatiles. After exposure to infested cabbage volatiles, wasps showed a significant preference for infested cabbage volatiles, while the significant preference for infested radish volatiles that had been observed in inexperienced wasps was no longer observed. After exposure to infested komatsuna volatiles, wasps significantly preferred infested komatsuna volatiles, and the pre-exposure significant preferences for infested cabbage volatiles and infested radish volatiles remained. After exposure to infested radish volatiles, the significant preferences for infested cabbage and infested radish volatiles did not change. Furthermore, wasps showed a significant preference for infested komatsuna volatiles. The compound compositions of the volatile blends from the three infested plant species were grouped separately in a principal coordinates analysis. The experience-based cognition of C. vestalis for host-infested plant volatiles of three plant species is discussed.


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