Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 428592
Title Natural variation in learning rate and memory dynamics in parasitoid wasps: opportunities for converging ecology and neuroscience
Author(s) Hoedjes, K.M.; Kruidhof, H.M.; Huigens, M.E.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Smid, H.M.
Source Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 278 (2011)1707. - ISSN 0962-8452 - p. 889 - 897.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2199
Department(s) Laboratory of Entomology
EPS-2
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) long-term-memory - cotesia-glomerata - drosophila-melanogaster - leptopilina-heterotoma - microplitis-croceipes - phytophagous insects - foraging success - infochemical use - apis-mellifera - c-rubecula
Abstract Although the neural and genetic pathways underlying learning and memory formation seem strikingly similar among species of distant animal phyla, several more subtle inter- and intraspecific differences become evident from studies on model organisms. The true significance of such variation can only be understood when integrating this with information on the ecological relevance. Here, we argue that parasitoid wasps provide an excellent opportunity for multi-disciplinary studies that integrate ultimate and proximate approaches. These insects display interspecific variation in learning rate and memory dynamics that reflects natural variation in a daunting foraging task that largely determines their fitness: finding the inconspicuous hosts to which they will assign their offspring to develop. We review bioassays used for oviposition learning, the ecological factors that are considered to underlie the observed differences in learning rate and memory dynamics, and the opportunities for convergence of ecology and neuroscience that are offered by using parasitoid wasps as model species. We advocate that variation in learning and memory traits has evolved to suit an insect's lifestyle within its ecological niche.
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