Influence of habitat structure on the phonotactic strategy of a parasitoid fly Emblemasoma auditrix

TitleInfluence of habitat structure on the phonotactic strategy of a parasitoid fly Emblemasoma auditrix
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsLakes-Harlan R, Kohler U
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume28
Pagination758-765
KeywordsSARCOPHAGIDAE
Abstract

1. Females of the parasitoid fly Emblemasoma auditrix find their host cicadas (Okanagana rimosa) using the acoustic signals produced by the host. The phonotactic behaviour of the parasitoid was studied with regard to differently structured habitats. 2. Habitats were modified experimentally within a distance of 2.5 m (approximately the natural range of phonotaxis) from a loudspeaker broadcasting a model of the host calling song. 3. Video analysis showed that in an open habitat (no landmarks) more than 60% of the flies performed a direct flight towards the loudspeaker. 4. In structured habitats (with one to three landmarks) more than 90% of the flies landed on their way to the acoustic target. 5. In about 50% of the landings flies paused for several seconds indicating re-orientation during that time. Several flies included sequences of walking in their approach behaviour, whereby most walking occurred close to the loudspeaker. 6. In summary, the phonotactic approach and host finding depends on the habitat structure.