Many parasitic organisms have an ability to manipulate their hosts to increase their own fitness. In parasitoids, behavioral changes of mobile hosts to avoid or protect against predation and hyperparasitism have been intensively studied, but host manipulation by parasitoids associated with endophytic or immobile hosts has seldom been investigated. We examined the interactions between a gall inducer Masakimyia pustulae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and its parasitoids. This gall midge induces dimorphic leaf galls, thick and thin types, on Euonymus japonicus (Celastraceae). Platygaster sp. was the most common primary parasitoid of M. pustulae. In galls attacked by Platygaster sp., whole gall thickness as well as thicknesses of upper and lower gall wall was significantly larger than unparasitized galls, regardless of the gall types, in many localities. In addition, localities and tree individuals significantly affected the thickness of gall. Galls attacked by Platygaster sp. were seldom hyperparasitized in the two gall types. These results strongly suggest that Platygaster sp. manipulates the host plant's development to avoid hyperparasitism by thickening galls. © 2014 Fujii et al.
Fujii, T., Matsuo, K., Abe, Y., Yukawa, J., & Tokuda, M. (2014). An endoparasitoid avoids hyperparasitism by manipulating immobile host herbivore to modify host plant morphology. PLoS ONE, 9(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102508