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Biology and Behavior

An ectoparasitoid of tephritid fruit fly pupae, female Dirhinus giffardii pierce the puparial wall and oviposit onto the host pupa (Silvestri 1914). The host continues to develop until the parasitoid larva hatches, at which time the host is paralyzed and consumed by the larva. Wang and Messing (2004) provide evidence that in laboratory settings D. giffardii females prefer to attack larger host species when given a choice, resulting in larger parasitoid offspring. The fitness gained by the offspring in foraging efficiency due to larger size did not appear to come at the cost of development time or survival.


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© Robert Wharton

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