Diagnostic Tool


Characteristics of parasitoids

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  • Specific parasitoid species usually attack specific insect species (specialist or monophagous) or a few closely related species (oligophagous). 

  • Parasitoids are host stage specific - some parasitize eggs while others parasitize larvae/pupae.    

  • Only the female parasitoid is involved in the act of parasitism. Many of them have a highly developed long ovipositor to lay eggs in their host body and in some cases they attack hosts that are inside plant tissue.

  • Only the larval stage of the parasitoid is parasitic; adults are free living and feed on nectar, honeydew or host insect body fluid.

  • Female parasitoids lay a single egg or several eggs in, on, or near the host body. Newly emerged parasitoid larvae feed inside the host body, and gradually destroy the host as it develops.

  • Pupation of parasitoids can take place either inside or outside the host body.

  • A parasitoid completes its development on one host individual.