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Adv Parasitol. 2009;70:3-44. doi: 10.1016/S0065-308X(09)70001-6.

Ecology and life history evolution of frugivorous Drosophila parasitoids.

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Université Lyon 1, CNRS, UMR5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, F-69622 Villeurbanne, France.


Parasitoids and their hosts are linked by intimate and harmful interactions that make them well suited to analyze fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes with regard to life histories evolution of parasitic association. Drosophila aspects of what parasitoid Hymenoptera have become model organisms to study aspects that cannot be investigated with other associations. These include the genetic bases of fitness traits variations, physiology and genetics of resistance/virulence, and coevolutionary dynamics leading to local adaptation. Recent research on evolutionary ecology of Drosophila parasitoids were performed mainly on species that thrive in fermenting fruits (genera Leptopilina and Asobara). Here, we review information and add original data regarding community ecology of these parasitoids, including species distribution, pattern of abundance and diversity, host range and the nature and intensity of species interactions. Biology and the evolution of life histories in response to habitat heterogeneity and possible local adaptations leading to specialization of these wasps are reported with special emphasis on species living in southern Europe. We expose the diversity and intensity of selective constraints acting on parasitoid life history traits, which vary geographically and highlight the importance of considering both biotic and abiotic factors with their interactions to understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasitoid associations.

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