Reproductive strategies under multiparasitism in natural populations of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia (Hymenoptera)

B. K. Grillenberger, L. Van De Zande, R. Bijlsma, Juergen Gadau, L. W. Beukeboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Parasitoid Nasonia wasps adjust their progeny sex ratio to the presence of conspecifics to optimize their fitness. Another trait under female control is the induction of offspring diapause. We analysed progeny sex ratios and the proportion of diapausing offspring of individual Nasonia females in host patches parasitized by two species, Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti, in North American field populations using microsatellite fingerprinting. Both Nasonia species produced similar sex ratios on hosts that were co-parasitized by their own species as by the other species, indicating that females do not distinguish between con- and heterospecific clutches. The sex ratios of the diapause and adult fractions of mixed broods from single females were not correlated. We found further indications that N. vitripennis females take the emergence time of the offspring into account in their sex allocation. The reproductive strategies of Nasonia under multiparasitism are largely adaptive, but also partially constrained by information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-470
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Diapause
  • Local mate competition
  • Microsatellites
  • Nasonia giraulti
  • Nasonia vitripennis
  • Resource allocation
  • Sex ratio
  • Superparasitism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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