Effect of host density on searching behaviour of Nemeritis canescens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)

R. M. Cook, S. F. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Observations were made over one hour of individual parasites, N. canescens, searching for their hosts, larvae of the moth Plodia interpunctella, at five different host densities. Records were made of the total number of hosts encountered at each density, the total number of eggs laid and the handling time per host. Holling's disc equation was found to fit the data well and gave estimates for rate of parasite search (a) and handling time (b) close to values actually observed. Despite the good fit, rate of search and handling time both declined as host density increased. The time spent handling already parasitised hosts, "avoidance time" was found to be about half the value of handling time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1980


  • N. canescens
  • Plodia interpunctella
  • parasite hosts
  • host density


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