Extremely female-biased sex ratio and lethal male-male combat in a parasitoid wasp, Melittobia australica (Eulophidae)

Jun Abe, Yoshitaka Kamimura, Natsuko Kondo, Masakazu Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Melittobia australica (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a gregarious ectoparasitoid of the prepupae and pupae of solitary wasps and bees. The males never disperse from their natal patch, and mating takes place only on the host from which they emerged. We measured the offspring sex ratio of M. australica with differing foundress numbers and examined combat between emerged males. The offspring sex ratios were extremely female biased and almost independent of foundress number in all cases. The population of M. australica used in the experiment was infected with the cytoplasmically inherited symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia. However, although Wolbachia is a potential sex-ratio distorter, noninfected individuals showed the same sex ratio patterns as the Wolbachia-infected individuals. An arena experiment showed that younger males were almost always killed by older males that had eclosed earlier. These results suggested that lethal male-male combat is an additional factor distorting the sex ratio toward a more female-biased sex ratio. This provides a new perspective on current local mate competition models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Melittobia
Wasps
Eulophidae
Sex Ratio
wasp
parasitoid
sex ratio
Wolbachia
prepupae
Pupa
Hymenoptera
Bees
pupa
bee
pupae
parasitic wasps
Apoidea
experiment
Bacteria
bacterium

Keywords

  • Local mate competition
  • Male-male combat
  • Melittobia australica
  • Parasitoid wasps
  • Sex ratios
  • Wolbachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Extremely female-biased sex ratio and lethal male-male combat in a parasitoid wasp, Melittobia australica (Eulophidae). / Abe, Jun; Kamimura, Yoshitaka; Kondo, Natsuko; Shimada, Masakazu.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.2003, p. 34-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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