Female egg parasitoids must optimize their ability to find a suitable host for reproduction in a limited foraging time. Odorant cues associated with the plant-host complex play an essential role in guiding females toward the host. However, parasitoid response is not always identical within the same genotype, and it could be influenced by the environment. This phenotypic plasticity affects parasitoid behavior and morphology and is directly linked to rearing conditions. Yet, how plasticity influences olfactory responses of egg parasitoids toward plant-host odors is largely unexplored. Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) is an effective biocontrol agent of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stal) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Laboratory no-choice and choice tests showed T. japonicus potential to develop in eggs of non-target Pentatomidae. In Y-tube olfactometer we evaluated the olfactory responses of T. japonicus reared on different hosts toward plant-host derived volatiles associated with H. halys and two other stink bug species. Parasitoids reared on the main host H. halys positively responded only to odors from V. faba-H. halys complex. When reared on alternative hosts, T. japonicus was smaller and did not exhibit attraction to any stimuli, although egg load was only partially affected. Host-induced phenotypic plasticity should be considered when evaluating parasitoids for classical biological control.
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