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Effects of parasitization by the insect parasite Hyposoter exiguae on the growth, development and physiology of its host Trichoplusia ni

  • S. N. Thompson (a1)

The weight gain and growth rate of Trichoplusia ni larvae were severely depressed following parasitization by the insect parasite, Hyposoter exiguae. The development of the host was also delayed and juvenile hormone esterase activity present at the normal time of moulting was absent in parasitized insects. Similar effects on growth and development were achieved by rearing host insects on nutrient-deficient media. Accompanying the above effects of parasitization were alterations in dry/wet weight ratio and host haemolymph osmolality. Parasitization resulted in immediate increases in the concentrations of haemolymph non-glycogen carbohydrate (composed of trehalose, maltose and glucose) and protein. The concentration of fat body glycogen also increased following parasitization. In contrast, the concentration of haemolymph non-glycogen carbohydrate and protein, as well as fat body glycogen, decreased in nutrient-deprived larvae. The significance of the above results as they relate to the insect parasite–host relationship is discussed.

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  • EISSN: 1469-8161
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