What is Parasite, parasitism, parasitoids and types of Parasitism in insects?


What is Parasite, parasitism, parasitoids, and types of Parasitism  in insects?

Parasite: A parasite is an organism that is usually much smaller than its host and a single individual usually doesn’t kill the host. Parasite may complete their entire life cycle (eg. Lice) or may involve several host species. Or Parasite is one, which attaches itself to the body of the other living organism either externally or internally and gets nourishment and shelter at least for a shorter period if not for the entire life cycle. The organism, which is attacked by the parasites, is called hosts.

Parasitism: Is the phenomena of obtaining nourishment at the expense of the host to which the parasite is attached.

Parasitoid: is an insect parasite of an arthropod, parasitic only in immature stages, destroys its host in the process of development and free living as an adult. E.g.: Braconid wasps


1). Depending upon the nature of the host,

  1. 1. Zoophagous – that attack animals (cattle pests)
  2. 2. Phytophagous – that attack plants (crop pests)
  3. Entomophagous – that attack insects (parasites)
  4. Entomophagous insects – parasitoids


2). Based on the specialization of the site of parasitisation

  1. Ectoparasites: they attack its host from the outside of the body of the host. The mother parasite lays its eggs on the body of the host and after the eggs are hatched the larvae feed on the host by remaining outside only. Head louse; Epiricania melanolenca, Epipyrops sp. Sugarcane fly.
  2. Endoparasites: they enters the body of the host and feeds from inside. The mother parasite either lays its eggs inside the tissues of the host or on the food material of the host to gain entry inside. Eg.Braconids & Icheneumonids, Apanteles flavipes on jowar stemborer larvae.


What is Parasite, parasitism, parasitiods and types of Parasitism in insects ?

3). Specialization based on the stage of the host Eg.Host: Coconut black headed caterpillar, Opisina arenosella  

  1. Egg parasite : Trichogramma australicum
  2. Early larval parasite – Apanteles taragama
  3. Mid larval parasite – (Micro) Bracon hebtor
  4. Prepupal parasite – Gonizus nephantidis
  5. Prepupal parasite – Elasmus nephantidis
  6. Pupal parasite –Stomatoceros sulcatiscutellum,Trichospilus pupivora, Testrastichus israeli,

What is Parasite, parasitism, parasitiods and types of Parasitism in insects ?


Kinds of Parasitism 

  1. Simple parasitism: the number of eggs laid the parasitoid attacks the host only once. Eg. Apanteles taragamae on the larvae of Opisina arenosella, Goniozus nephantids
  2. Super parasitism:is another type of parasitization of an individual host by more larvae of single species that can mature in the host. Eg. Apanteles glomeratus on Pieris brassica, Trichospilus pupivora on Opisina arenosella.
  3. Multiple parasitism:  parasitization of host individuals by two or more different species of primary parasites at the same time. Eg:Trichogramma, Telenomous and Tetrastichus attack eggs of paddy stem borer
  4. Hyper parasitism: When a parasite itself is parasitized by another parasite. Eg. Goniozus nephantidis is parasitized by Tetrastichus israeli, Most of the Bethylids and Braconids are hyper parasites.

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