Host species exploitation and discrimination by animal parasites
Many organisms, including entomopathogenous fungi, predators or parasites, use aphids as ressources. Parasites of aphids are mostly endoparasitoid insects, i.e. insects which lay eggs inside the body of an other insect which will die as a result of their development. In this article, we review the consequences of the numerous pecularities of aphid biology and ecology for their endoparasitoids, notably the Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We first examine the various mechanisms used by aphids for defence against these enemies. We then explore the strategies used by aphidiine parasitoids to exploit their aphid hosts. Finally, we consider the responses of both aphids and parasitoids to ecological constraints induced by seasonal cycles and to environmental variations linked to host plants and climate. The fundamental and applied interest of studying these organisms is discussed.