Increased reproduction by pea aphids in the presence of secondary parasitoids
Van Veen FJF., Rajkumar A., Müller CB., Godfray HCJ.
1. The influence of the presence of secondary parasitoids on aphid reproduction was tested in a field experiment. 2. Single pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in clip cages on potted bean plants were exposed to a collection of secondary parasitoids enclosed within a small perforated bag. The aphids were exposed to volatile chemicals released by the secondary parasitoids but there was no physical contact. 3. The production of nymphs was recorded over an 11-day period. Aphids produced significantly more offspring in the presence of secondary parasitoids than in the absence of secondary parasitoids (36.9 vs. 31.2). 4. This is the second reported occurrence of this phenomenon, and the reasons for its occurrence and its consequences for aphid population and community ecology are discussed.