Estimation of the competitiveness of Ephedrus plagiator in relation to other parasitoids from the subfamily Aphidiinae



Braconidae, Aphididae, competitive species, trophic association, self-organizing map (SOM)


Paper description:

  • Parasitoid wasps (Aphidiinae) are solitary endoparasitoids of aphids that play an important role in biological control. Ephedrus plagiator is a polyphagous species with a wide host range and great potential for commercial production, but information regarding its competitive ability is limited.
  • All trophic associations in which E. plagiator is directly or indirectly (via its host) involved were analysed, using an artificial neural network.
  • We listed the parasitoid species and quantified their competitive ability, as well as aphids that E. plagiator preferred.
  • The results provide useful information which is urgently needed in biological control programs where E. plagiator is applied.

Abstract: The parasitoid species Ephedrus plagiator (Nees, 1811) (Hymenoptera: Aphidiinae) is one of the most important biological agents against pest aphids. We investigated whether this species was in competition with some other aphidiine species for the same hosts. We thus examined its role in biological programs to control aphids. We applied an unsupervised artificial neural network, a self-organizing map (SOM), which classified the competitive parasitoids into seven groups. The SOM also visualized the distributional pattern of 31 parasitoid wasps along the neural network, revealing their competitive ability in relation to E. plagiator. Indicator value (IndVal) analysis quantified the competitive ability and showed that the most competitive species with regard to E. plagiator were Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson, 1880), L. fabarum (Marshall 1896), L. cardui (Marshall 1896) and Binodoxys angelicae (Haliday, 1833). These species appeared in four different SOM groups and mostly parasitized the Aphis fabae Scopoli, 1763 (Hemiptera: Aphididae) host.

Received: September 23, 2019; Revised: November 4, 2019; Accepted: November 6, 2019; Published online: December 18, 2019

How to cite this article: Ilić Milošević MM, Petrović-Obradović OT, Stanković SS, Lazarević MJ, Trajković AD, Tomanović ŽM, Žikić VA. Estimation of the competitiveness of Ephedrus plagiator in relation to other parasitoids from the subfamily Aphidiinae. Arch Biol Sci. 2020;72(1):53-61.


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How to Cite

Ilić Milošević MM, Petrović-Obradović OT, Stanković SS, Lazarević MJ, Trajković AD, Tomanović Željko M, Žikić VA. Estimation of the competitiveness of Ephedrus plagiator in relation to other parasitoids from the subfamily Aphidiinae. Arch Biol Sci [Internet]. 2020Mar.24 [cited 2024Jun.19];72(1):53-61. Available from:




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