Phoenix Group

Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics

@ Te Taha Tawhiti Massey

Rashmi Kant <>

I am working host-parasitoid interaction in aphid-wasp system for my PhD degree. Before I started my doctoral study in New Zealand, I have worked for University of Delhi, developing a Biodiversity Park in New Delhi. I studied plant science (Agriculture) at Allahabad Agricultural Institute. Insects are my favourite since my school time and that interest led to my Master’s degree in Entomology. Further, my research project on egg-parasitoid Trichogramma spp. at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi greatly fascinated me.

I have enjoyed my doctoral research on Reproductive behaviour and fitness trade-offs in the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae. The main goal of the study was to understand mating and oviposition behaviour of D. rapae, a parasitoid of cabbage and peach aphid. I studied host and mate selection and I also examined their superparasitism strategies. Male-male interaction is strong in this species and affects mating success. Altogether, I am enjoying my time in this beautiful pollution-free New Zealand. People here are very friendly and caring, and I develop affection with this country and people.

See below for publication resulting form my PhD research.

Rashmi Kant

mating process

D. rapae


RashmiRecording mating behaviour under red light during scotophase

Refereed papers from the doctoral project:

Kant R, Minor MA, Trewick SA, WRM Sandanayaka 2012. Body size and fitness relation in male and female Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) BioControl

Kant R, Minor MA, Trewick SA 2012. Mating or oviposition? A crucial decision in the life history of cabbage aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh) (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) Ecological Entomology

Kant R, Minor MA, Trewick SA 2012. Reproductive strategies of Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiinae) during fluctuating temperatures of spring season in New Zealand. Biocontrol Science and Technology 22: 1-9

Kant R, Minor MA, Trewick SA 2012. Fitness gain in a koinobiont parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) by parasitising hosts of different ages. Journal of Asia Pacific Entomology 15: 83-87

Kant R, MA Minor, SA Trewick and WRM Sandanayaka (2011). Host selection for superparasitism in Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). New Zealand Plant Protection 64: 37-43.

Kant R, MA Minor, WRM Sandanayaka and SA Trewick (2010). Parasitism and mating of Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in an uncontrolled environment. New Zealand Plant Protection 63: 257

Kant R and WRM Sandanayaka (2009). Deil asynchrony in reproductive behaviour of Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). New Zealand Plant Protection 62:161-167.

Kant R, WRM. Sandanayaka, X He, Q Wang (2008). Effect of host age on searching and oviposition behaviour of Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh) (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). New Zealand Plant Protection 61: 355-361.

Abstract/conference presentation from doctoral project:

R Kant, MA Minor and SA Trewick (2012). Effects of mate choice and mate density on mating success in Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) Proceedings of the 61st New Zealand Entomological Society conference, Whangarei, New Zealand.

R Kant, SA Trewick, and MA Minor (2011). Mating versus oviposition in Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). Proceedings of the 3rd combined Australian and New Zealand Entomological Societies Conference, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand.

R Kant, SA Trewick, WRM Sandanayaka and MA Minor (2010). Does parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) discriminate its host Cabbage aphid during superparasitism? Proceedings of the 60th New Zealand Entomological Society (NZES) conference Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.

R Kant (2009). Asymmetric reproductive gain in male and female offspring of Diaeretiella rapae by parasitising cabbage aphid nymphs of differentages. Proceedings of Behavioural Ecology of Insect Parasitoids: a Perspective, Palermo, Italy, 28 p.

R. Kant, Q Wang & WRM Sandanayaka (2008). Female Diaeretiella rapae receive more reproductive fitness by parasitising older Brevicoryne brassicae nymphs. In: Mason PG, Gillespie DR, Vincent C ed. Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods held in Christchurch, New Zealand, USDA, Forest Service, Morgantown, WV, USA, 568-569.;jsessionid=9694A14441194368A746402506A8E335

R. Kant (2009). Does mating behaviour affect reproductive gain in parasitoid Diaeretiellarapae? Proceedings of 59th New Zealand Entomological Society (NZES) conference, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 58 p.