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Hyperparasitism

The phenomenon of Hyparasitism occurs when parasite attacks and develops on another parasite. There are several degrees of hyperparasitism which depend on the food chain as host primary, secondary, tertiary and so on.

A hyperarasitoid is parasitoids which develop on another parasitoid i.e. a parasite of a parasite.

E.g. pea aphid                 Acyrthosiohan pisum ------------Primary consumer
Polyphagous pest
Primary parasite              Aphidius sinithi         ------------Secondary consumer
Secondary parasite          Allaxysta vitix          -----------Tertiary consumer
Tertiary parasite                Asaphes califonical   -----------Quaternary parasite

It is the policy in biological control to prevent the introduction of secondary parasites. The hyperparasites can be eliminated or retarded by use of differential insecticides. There is belief that hyperparasites are usually less discriminating than primary parasites I their selection of hosts. As introduced hyperparasites is likely to find all suitable niches occupied than native through competition. Hyperparasites already present in a region may have in some cases prevented or at least delayed the establishment of introduced parasites.
The hyperparasites play an important part in the maintenance of the balance between insect species in nature that is the aspect of population dynamics.

Current Category » Production Techniques for Biological Control Agents