|Population dynamics in a model host-parasitoid system|
The seed weevils in the genus Callosobruchus are pests that live in stored beans. The beetle in the upper left part of the figure below is a female C. maculatus, the species I'm working with currently. The upper right photo is a C. maculatus egg on a mung bean. The middle photo shows a C. maculatus larva, eating its way though the bean.
The beetle larvae are attacked by the parasitoid Anisopteromalus calandrae, shown in the lower right panel. A. calandrae is an external parasitoid and in the lower left panel you can see an A. calandrae larva feeding on its host beetle larva.
I'm using these species to study the population dynamics of host-parasitoid interactions, and to test factors that influence the stability of population dynamics. These species are a convenient system because they are easy to keep in the lab and have relatively short generation times (about 4 weeks).