Optimal foraging by parasitoid wasps

Hubbard, S. F. and Cook, R.M. (1978) Optimal foraging by parasitoid wasps. Journal of Animal Ecology, 47 (2). pp. 593-604. ISSN 0021-8790

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Abstract

(1) Experiments have been described in which insect parasites were observed continuously searching in a patchy host habitat. (2) The results of these experiments have been used to examine in greater detail the predictions of the Cook & Hubbard (1977) model for the outcome of search by insect parasites and predators. (3) The observed final rates of encounter between parasites and healthy hosts, the final density of healthy hosts in each patch at the end of the interaction, the giving up times for each patch, the effect of exploitation on the time budget, and the effect of the range of patch types available to the parasites all show an encouraging measure of agreement with the predictions of the model. (4) The present view of parasite mutual interference, deviations from the expected relationships and the important role of sampling strategies have all been discussed in the light of the results obtained in this study.