Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (3): 379-385, 2014 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2014.040

Biology of Rhembobius quadrispinus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae): Pupal parasitoid of saprophagous species of syrphids (Diptera: Syrphidae)

Pilar HURTADO, Celeste PÉREZ-BAÑÓN, Santos ROJO
CIBIO (Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad), Universidad de Alicante, Alicante E-03080, Spain; e-mails: pilar.hurtado@ua.es; celeste.perez@ua.es; santos.rojo@ua.es

Little is known about the life cycle of Rhembobius parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Known host records are mainly from saprophagous species of hoverflies of the tribe Eristalini (Diptera: Syrphidae), whose larvae develop in a wide range of aquatic and semi-aquatic breeding sites that are rich in microbial decay. We present an account of the biology and important details of the life cycle of the pupal parasitoid R. quadrispinus in both natural and controlled conditions. Host suitability, the influence of host pupal age and age of the female parasitoid on her production of progeny was evaluated in laboratory tests. Our results showed that the percentage of pupae of E. tenax that were parasitized by R. quadrispinus decreased as pupae matured, and the optimal age for successful parasitism ranged from 1 to 3 days. This biological information could be useful in the biological control of anthropophilic saprophagous eristalines that can act as potential mechanical vectors of pathogens on farms.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Rhembobius quadrispinus, host preference, biological control, parasitoid age, Diptera, Syrphidae, Eristalis tenax, Eristalinus aeneus, Diapria conica, synanthropy, pig farms

Received: April 17, 2013; Accepted: January 17, 2014; Prepublished online: April 23, 2014; Published: July 14, 2014

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