Interspecific competitive interactions can occur either between adult parasitoids searching/exploiting hosts (extrinsic competition) or between parasitoid larvae developing within the same host (intrinsic competition). Understanding how interspecific competition between parasitoids can affect pest suppression is important for improving biological pest control. The purpose of this work was to review both extrinsic and intrinsic competition between egg parasitoid species. These are organisms that are often candidates for biological control programs due to their ability to kill the pest before the crop feeding stage. We first reviewed the literature about interspecific competitive abilities of adult parasitoids in terms of comparative host location strategies highlighting which ecological and behavioral factors are likely to shape extrinsic competition. Then we focused on the interspecific competitive interactions between immatures developing within the same host taking into account which factors play a key role in the outcome of intrinsic competition. Finally we conclude stressing on the need to elucidate the overall competitive interaction that parasitoid species may experience in the field in order to enhance biological control success.
Cusumano, A., Peri, E., Vinson, S.B., & Colazza, S. (2012). Interspecific extrinsic and intrinsic competitive interactions in egg parasitoids. BIOCONTROL, 57(6), 719-734 [10.1007/s10526-012-9451-5].