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Term (pará = beside, sitos = fattened) for many types of insects and fungi, as well as microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses, which use various other insects or plants as hosts, live off them or obtain nutrients from them. Parasites are highly specialised organisms. Their habitat is usually limited to a few host species, and it is not uncommon to find only a single host species. In viticulture, these are mainly insects that use other insects or their larvae as hosts, eliminate them or at least inhibit their development and are therefore generally regarded as beneficial insects.

Parasiten - Raubmilbe, Schlupfwespe

Strictly speaking, however, a distinction must be made between parasites - which develop on or in a host, whereby the host is generally not killed - and parasitoids - which develop on or in a host, whereby they only need one host for their development and the host dies in the process. Parasitoids include, for example, predatory mites (1) and parasitic wasps (2). Among the fungi, parasites include the biotrophic species (feed on living cells of the host) downy and powdery mildew and the necrotrophic species (kill the host tissue before obtaining nutrients from it) Botrytis cinera. See also under vine enemies.

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