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The biological control potential of parasitic wasps in the field is expected to increase with the provisioning of sugar sources, which increase longevity and replenish carbohydrate reserves. Apanteles aristoteliae is an important parasitoid of Argyrotaenia franciscana, the orange tortrix, an economic pest in fruit crops. In the present study, the effect of sugar diet on the physiological status of A. aristoteliae is investigated in the laboratory, as well as the effects of nutritional status on short-term olfactory orientation and parasitism behaviour, and the association between olfactory orientation and immediate parasitism activity. Levels of glycogen, fructose, total sugars, proportional weight gain and volume consumed are higher among females fed 25% sucrose solution than 10% sucrose solution, and lowest for those fed water. Sugar feeding also affects behaviour: wasps with higher levels of fructose or weight gain have a lower probability of making a choice in the olfactometer. Wasps with intermediate fructose levels or weight gain have a higher probability of orienting towards hosts than wasps with low or high levels. Among wasps that make a choice in the olfactometer, wasps fed 10% or 25% sucrose significantly prefer host versus food cues, whereas starved wasps are just as likely to select food cues as host cues.