Temperature effects during development on a polyembryonic parasitoid and its host

Yoriko Saeki, Philip Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ambient temperature can influence development through effects on metabolic rate and by inducing physiological stress. In this study, we assessed temperature effects on a host–parasitoid interaction and on the body size and brood size of emerging wasps. By examining the development at two different temperatures of the koinobiont parasitoid, Copidosoma bakeri, and its host, Agrotis ipsilon, we asked: (1) Does the growth response to temperature by A. ipsilon depend on whether the moth caterpillar is parasitized? (2) Does the allocation pattern of body size and brood size in C. bakeri change with temperature? To answer these questions, we exposed A. ipsilon larvae parasitized by C. bakeri to high or low non-lethal temperatures when A. ipsilon was in early or late larval stages and measured their development time and body mass for all four treatment combinations. We also examined the brood size and body mass of emerging wasps. Whether parasitized or not, A. ipsilon larvae decreased development time, but generally did not decrease final body mass, at the higher temperature. When parasitized A. ipsilon was exposed to the higher temperature only late in their development, enlargement of the host by the parasitoid was reduced. C. bakeri brood size significantly increased when the higher temperature was applied early in host development. We did not detect a shift with temperature in the allocation pattern of the size–number trade-off for wasp offspring, suggesting that this trade-off relationship may be under selection strong enough to yield insensitivity to temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-607
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 Elsevier Ltd


  • Host–parasitoid interaction
  • Koinobiont parasitoid
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Sexual size dimorphism
  • Size–number trade-off
  • Thermal sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Developmental Biology


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