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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 727098, 7 pages
Research Article

Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli

1Istituto di Entomologia e Patologia Vegetale, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense 84, 29100 Piacenza, Italy
2Sigmund Freud University, 20143 Milano, Italy

Received 4 June 2015; Revised 4 September 2015; Accepted 17 September 2015

Academic Editor: Johannes Stökl

Copyright © 2015 Elisabetta Chiappini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) successfully parasitises eggs of Cicadella viridis (L.) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), embedded in vegetal tissues, suggesting the idea of possible chemical and physical cues, revealing the eggs presence. In this research, three treatments were considered in order to establish which types of cue are involved: eggs extracted from leaf, used as a control, eggs extracted from leaf and cleaned in water and ethanol, used to evaluate the presence of chemicals soluble in polar solvents, and eggs extracted from leaf and covered with Parafilm (M), used to avoid physical stimuli due to the bump on the leaf surface. The results show that eggs covered with Parafilm present a higher number of parasitised eggs and a lower probing starting time with respect to eggs washed with polar solvents or eggs extracted and untreated, both when the treatments were singly tested or when offered in sequence, independently of the treatment position. These results suggest that the exploited stimuli are not physical due to the bump but chemicals that can spread in the Parafilm, circulating the signal on the whole surface, and that the stimuli that elicit probing and oviposition are not subjected to learning.