Influence of honeydew of citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri) on searching behaviour of its parasitoid, Anagyrus pseudococci.
Laboratory experiments were conducted in 1991-92 to investigate the foraging behaviour of Anagyrus pseudococci, a parasitoid of Planococcus citri, on leaves contaminated with honeydew and clean leaf surfaces of tomato. The presence of honeydew increased the searching activity of the parasitoid. On encountering the honeydew-contaminated area, A. pseudococci walked more slowly and stopped frequently. The proportion of time spent moving and net walking speed of the parasitoid was lower on honeydew-contaminated leaves than on clean ones. Parasitoids turned more often per unit distance on honeydew-contaminated areas than on clean areas. On losing contact with honeydew-contaminated areas, A. pseudococci returned quickly to the previous area, a klinokinetic response. Inexperienced parasitoids walked more slowly and remained in the contaminated areas longer than experienced individuals.