Zoological Studies

Vol. 54, 2015

Modification of Tetragnatha montana (Araneae, Tetragnathidae) web architecture induced by larva of the parasitoid Acrodactyla quadrisculpta (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Polysphincta genus-group)

Stanislav Korenko1*, Barbora Korenková1, Jitka Satrapová1, Katerina Hamouzová1 and Dick Belgers2

1Department of Agroecology and Biometeorology, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Suchdol, Czech Republi
2Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB, Wageningen, Netherlands

Background: The polysphinctine wasp, Acrodactyla quadrisculpta, is a koinobiont ecto-parasitoid of spiders and is narrowly associated with the biology of its spider hosts. The larva, attached to the dorsal side of the abdomen, develops while the spider continues foraging. Shortly before pupation, the parasitoid larva manipulates the web-building activity of the host in order to construct a safe shelter against natural elements and predators during parasitoid pupation.
A. quadrisculpta was associated exclusively with the orb web weaving spiders Tetragnatha montana, with a parasitism incidence of 19%. The manipulated spider constructed a unique cocoon web that provided strong mechanical support for the parasitoid’s pupal cocoon. The cocoon web consisted of one highly reinforced main thread, tensioned in 60% of cases by a reinforced side thread. The wasp cocoon, square in cross-section, was fastened along its length to the main cocoon thread.
Conclusions: The wasp A. quadrisculpta was exclusively associated with an orb-weaving spider T. montana in the family Tetragnathidae. The alteration of the web architecture of T. montana induced by the larva A. quadrisculpta was unique and species specific.

Key words: Host-parasitoid interaction; Host manipulation; Spider host; Ephialtini.

*Correspondence: E-mail: korenko.stanislav@yahoo.com