Arundo donax is a rhizomatous perennial grass that invades riparian habitats and replaces native riparian vegetation. The galling wasp, Tetramesa romana (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), was selected for evaluation as a biocontrol agent of A. donax in 2009. However, knowledge is scarce on which factors influence host selection and oviposition in T. romana. Through my observations I documented distinct behavioral steps preceding emergence leading to oviposition in T. romana, and elicited an investigatory response in T. romana from plant volatiles extracted from A. donax. My results indicated that T. romana does use a chemical cue as a factor in host selection, but it is likely not the result of a species-specific constituent. Evidence from my study revealed that T. romana may use a physical cue in selecting a host as well. T. romana preferred round glass rods over flat glass slides, indicating that shape is an important factor in host acceptance.
|Advisor:||Underwood, Dessie L.A.|
|Commitee:||Dudley, Tom, Whitcraft, Christine|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Ecology, Entomology|
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