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An analysis of the grooming behavior of wild and mutant strains of bracon hebetor braconidae hymenoptera

, : An analysis of the grooming behavior of wild and mutant strains of bracon hebetor braconidae hymenoptera. Behaviour 62(1-2): 70-102

Grooming behavior in the wild type parasitic wasp B. hebetor and 10 mutant strains was observed and the grooming movements recorded by a keyboard which activated clocks and an event recorder. The 15 distinct fixed action patterns [FAD] used by B. hebetor for grooming are described. These FAP did not vary qualitatively in any mutant strain examined, nor did the presence or absence of the groomed structure affect the qualitative performance of the FAP. Quantitative analysis showed that grooming behavior in this species appears to be temporally organized in that wasps consistently spent more time grooming head structures and wings than other body parts. The amount of time spent in a bout of a particular movement was relatively consistent. The sequence of grooming movements was also non-random. Movements were generally clustered into anterior grooming, but there was also evidence of pair-wise linkage. Multivariate statistical analyses of the grooming frequencies per 5 min. observation period showed striking sexually dimorphic grooming behavior. Females of all strains spent more time grooming head structures, while males spent more time on wing grooming. Mutant strains differed in times spent on each grooming movement; wasps with structural mutations showing the most deviant grooming frequencies, and eye and body color mutants grooming more like wild type. The deviant grooming frequencies of the structural mutants was in the direction of the altered body part. Grooming behavior in B. hebetor was under strong central control, but altered sensory information could lead to alterations in grooming movement frequencies. The adaptive significance of this behavioral organization was discussed.


DOI: 10.2307/4533830

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