Hopkins' 'host selection principle', another nail in its coffin

H. F. Van Emden, Barbara Sponagl, Evelyn Wagner, T. Baker, S. Ganguly, Sofia Douloumpaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Adult female parasitoids (Aphidius rhopalosiphi De Stef.) (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) reared on the aphid Metopolophium dirhodum (Walk.) (Homoptera: Aphididae) changed their responses to odours of two wheat cultivars ('Maris Huntsman' and 'Rapier') when the parasitized aphids had been moved from the former to the latter cultivar at various times after parasitization. If the aphids were moved after less than 6 days, the female parasitoids emerging from mummies by then formed on 'Rapier' responded positively to that cultivar, whereas parasitoids emerging from mummies transferred as still living aphids after 8 days on 'Maris Huntsman', responded positively to that cultivar rather than to 'Rapier' on which they had emerged. This appeared to be evidence for Hopkins' 'host selection principle', which states that chemical experience acquired by the larva of an endopterygote insect can be transferred through the pupal stage to the adult. However, discrimination in favour of either cultivar disappeared when the parasitoids were reared in aphids on both cultivars, and the emerging females were tested following excision of the pupae from the aphid mummies. The previous discrimination shown by adult parasitoids emerging from aphid mummies must therefore be determined by the chemicals contacted by a parasitoid on the skin of the mummy or while biting its way out of the dead aphid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-328
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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