Effects of food deprivation on parasitism in the wasp, Copidosoma floridanum (Hymenoptera)

Macey E. Cooper

Description/Abstract

Food deprivation is a general concern for any species because a lack of nutrients can have major effects on an organism, such as causing changes in behavior, life span, and reproductive rates. In insects, there are well documented trade-offs between reproduction and longevity mediated by food availability. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of food on reproduction in an endoparasitic wasp, Copidosoma floridanum. This wasp lays its eggs in the eggs of Trichoplusia ni, its moth host. To understand how food influences the reproduction of C. floridanum, 180 wasps will be evenly divided into six groups, half of which will be fed sugar water while the other half will be fed only distilled water. Each day, for seven days, 20 host eggs will be placed into individual compartments with 30 wasps. If the number of eggs laid by C. floridanum differs between fed and unfed groups, this would suggest food deprivation does have an effect on reproduction in C. floridanum. If we see no difference, this would suggest that food may not be critically important for the number of eggs a C. floridanum female can lay.

 
Mar 25th, 11:30 AM Mar 25th, 12:30 PM

Effects of food deprivation on parasitism in the wasp, Copidosoma floridanum (Hymenoptera)

Food deprivation is a general concern for any species because a lack of nutrients can have major effects on an organism, such as causing changes in behavior, life span, and reproductive rates. In insects, there are well documented trade-offs between reproduction and longevity mediated by food availability. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of food on reproduction in an endoparasitic wasp, Copidosoma floridanum. This wasp lays its eggs in the eggs of Trichoplusia ni, its moth host. To understand how food influences the reproduction of C. floridanum, 180 wasps will be evenly divided into six groups, half of which will be fed sugar water while the other half will be fed only distilled water. Each day, for seven days, 20 host eggs will be placed into individual compartments with 30 wasps. If the number of eggs laid by C. floridanum differs between fed and unfed groups, this would suggest food deprivation does have an effect on reproduction in C. floridanum. If we see no difference, this would suggest that food may not be critically important for the number of eggs a C. floridanum female can lay.