Document Type

Honors Thesis




Philip Fanning

Committee Members

Andrei Alyokhin, Matthew Chatfield

Graduation Year

December 2023

Publication Date

Fall 12-2023


Past research has found that female Drosophila generally decrease their reproductive output in response to exposure to predators, including parasitoid wasps. However, no studies on behavioral changes induced by the endoparasitic wasp Ganaspis brasiliensis have been documented in the literature. G. brasiliensis has been identified as a biocontrol agent candidate against D. suzukii, with field trials currently underway across the contiguous United States. In this thesis, two experiments were performed: a behavioral observation assay measuring reproductive behaviors and an oviposition assay, a measure of reproductive activity. Female D. suzukii exposed to G. brasiliensis were observed to have depressed oviposition, producing fewer offspring than the unexposed. Decreased oviposition upon exposure to larval predators may be a strategy to increase survival of offspring, implicating an evolutionary tradeoff between offspring quality and quantity. These results indicate that the mere presence of G. brasiliensis alone may suppress D. suzukii populations, providing evidence for the suitable use of G. brasiliensis as a biocontrol agent.