Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Hymenoptera

  • social hymenoptera

  • Terms modified by Hymenoptera

  • hymenoptera venom
  • hymenoptera venom allergy

  • Selected Abstracts


    EVOLUTION, Issue 12 2005
    Ken R. Helms
    Abstract Because workers in the eusocial Hymenoptera are more closely related to sisters than to brothers, theory predicts that natural selection should act on them to bias (change) sex allocation to favor reproductive females over males. However, selection should also act on queens to prevent worker bias. We use a simulation approach to analyze the coevolution of this conflict in colonies with single, once-mated queens. We assume that queens bias the primary (egg) sex ratio and workers bias the secondary (adult) sex ratio, both at some cost to colony productivity. Workers can bias either by eliminating males or by directly increasing female caste determination. Although variation among colonies in kin structure is absent, simulations often result in bimodal (split) colony sex ratios. This occurs because of the evolution of two alternative queen or two alternative worker biasing strategies, one that biases strongly and another that does not bias at all. Alternative strategies evolve because the mechanisms of biasing result in accelerating benefits per unit cost with increasing bias, resulting in greater fitness for strategies that bias more and bias less than the population equilibrium. Strategies biasing more gain from increased biasing efficiency whereas strategies biasing less gain from decreased biasing cost. Our study predicts that whether queens or workers evolve alternative strategies depends upon the mechanisms that workers use to bias the sex ratio, the relative cost of queen and worker biasing, and the rates at which queen and worker strategies evolve. Our study also predicts that population and colony level sex allocation, as well as colony productivity, will differ diagnostically according to whether queens or workers evolve alternative biasing strategies and according to what mechanism workers use to bias sex allocation. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 3 2002
    LI Zheng-xi
    Abstract The rDNA-ITS2 regions of T. dendrolimi Matsumura and T. ostriniae Pang et Chen (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) were cloned and sequenced. The homologous sequences available in GenBank were retrieved and analyzed, and then specific primers were designed for molecular identification and detection of T. dendrolimi. Repeated screening showed that PCR amplification by the diagnostic primers enabled the differentiation of not only bulk samples and single adult (male or female), but also eggs and juveniles, which was not possible by conventional methods. The advantage of this system over morphology-based systems is that non-specialists are able to identify individuals or trace specimens efficiently. The derived molecular detection technique was then used to identify 12 specimens collected from different localities on the Chinese mainland; the results showed that this protocol could be applied to molecular monitoring of Trichogramma species in the field. Finally, 1132s of 6 geographical populations of T. dendrolimi (TdCHA, TDJL, TdXZ, TdKH, TdCZ and TdYBL) were cloned and sequenced. The multialignment analysis of intraspecific ITS2 sequences showed that the diagnostic primers have their own theoretical bases. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 2 2001
    HE Jun-hua
    Abstract A new species Rothneyia tibetensis sp. nov. of the genua Rothneyia is described form Xizang, China. A key to all the species of this genus is provided. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 1 2001
    CHEN Xue-xin
    Abstract The species of the genus Syntretus Foerster form China are revised in this paper. Five species are recognized with one species, Syntretus longitergitus sp. nov., as new to science. A key to the Chinese species fo this genus is provided. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 1 2001
    LIU Chang-ming
    Abstract This paper deals with the Chinese species of the genus Proconura Dodd. A new species P. eurygena Liu, sp. nov., a new record species P. caryobon(Hanna) and other two species P. asiatica Narendran and P. ishiii (Habu) are described. The holotype of P. eurygena is from Hainan Province. Its main features are: antennae and hind femora brown; vertex long; COL to POL as1:3; scapes reaching front ocellus, almost 3 times as long as pedicel; gaster with basal carinae short and distinctly converging backwards; first tergite of gaster smooth, without puncture. A key to known Chinese species of Proconura is given. Type specimen is deposited in Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 4 2000
    WEI Mei-cai
    Abstract, Some types of E. Asian sawfly species described by Forsius in 1931 are examined. One new species is described based on the paratypes of a species described by Forsius: Eutomostethus forsiusi sp. nov. Three new combinations are provided: Nesoselandria annamitica (Forsius 1931) comb. nov., Birmindia gracilis (Forsius 1931) comb. nov. and Eutomostethus sikkimensis (Forsius 1931), comb. nov., two synonyms are proposed: Birmindia gracilis (Forsius 1931) =Birmindia albipes Malaise 1947, syn. nov. and Indotaxonus tricoloricornis (Konow, 1898) =Conaspidia dubiosa Forsius 1931, syn. nov. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 3 2000
    WU Zhi-shan
    Abstract The subfamily Dirrhopinae van Achterberg and the genus Dirrhope Foerster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), both are recorded for the first time from China. Dirrhope shaxvi is also reported new to science in this paper. Type specimens of this new species are kept in the Beneficial Insects Lab, Fujian Agricultural University, Fuzhou, China. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 3 2000
    XU Wei-an
    Abstract The present paper describes two new species of Microgaster Latreille, 1804, viz: M. longiterebra sp. nov. (,) and M. longicaudatus sp. nov. (,). M. longiterebra sp. nov. is described from Kunming, Yunnan Prov. in China closely related to M. subcompletus, but differs from the latter in the combination of the following features: 1) APOL as long as OD; 2) Mesonotum strongly punctate on anterior 2/ 3) r shorter than width of stigma; 4) cu-a of hind wing medially curved; 5) Apex of hypopygium ending far beyond apex of abdomen. M. longicaudatus sp. nov. is described from Tianmushan, Zhejiang Prov. in China closely related to M. ductilis, but differs from the latter in the combination of the following features: 1) middle and hind femora reddish yellow only with apical 1/4 blackish; 2) 1-SR 0.5 times as long as 1-M; 3) the hairy part of ovipositor sheath 0.5 times as long as hind tibia; 4) tergite 3 with slightly weaker rugosity. The type specimens are deposited in Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 2 2000
    WU Zhi-shan
    Abstract, A new species and a new record of the genus Centistideu Haliday (Hymenoptera: Braconidae:) are reported from China in this paper. Centistideu immitis Wu et Chen is new to science and Centistideu irruptor (Papp) is recorded for the first time from China. Key to the species of the genus paper is also provided. The type specimens and other material examined are deposited in the Beneficial Insects Lab, Fujian Agricultural University, Fuzhou. [source]


    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 1 2000
    LI Qiang
    Abstract, Two new species of the subgenus Calceorhopalum Tsuneki of the genus Rhopalum Stephens are described. The new species, Rhopalum (Calceorhopalum) odontodorsale sp. nov. from Sichuan and Guizhou Province, is similar to R. (C.) spinicollum Tsuneki, but can be distinguished from the latter in the shape of clypeus, vertex with denser and larger punctures, anterior lateral corner of collar with a small tooth, tarsomere I of fore legs rather broad in male, and the shape of male genitalia. Holotype (,) is deposited in the Insect Collections of Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Paratypes (9 ,, 14 2 2) are deposited in the Insect Collections of Institute Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Insect Collections of Zhejiang Agricultural University separately. The other new species, Rhopalum (Calceorhopalum) rubigabdominale sp. nov. from Sichuan Province, is similar to R (C.) spinicollum Tsuneki also, but can be distinguished from the latter by the characters of the vertex concave, anterior lateral comer of collar rounded, posterior lateral corner of propleuron with a coarse and long tooth, prepectus with blunt comer medially, head and thorax with denser and larger punctures, abdomen yellowish or reddish brown, and the shape of male genitalia. Holotype (,) and paratypes (3,,) are kept in the Insect Collections of Institute Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. [source]


    PALAEONTOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Conservation of Insect Diversity: a Habitat Approach

    Jennifer B. Hughes
    To explore the feasibility of basing conservation action on community-level biogeography, we sampled a montane insect community. We addressed three issues: (1) the appropriate scale for sampling insect communities; (2) the association of habitat specialization,perhaps a measure of extinction vulnerability,with other ecological or physical traits; and (3) the correlation of diversity across major insect groups. Using malaise traps in Gunnison County, Colorado, we captured 8847 Diptera (identified to family and morphospecies), 1822 Hymenoptera (identified to morphospecies), and 2107 other insects (identified to order). We sampled in three habitat types,meadow, aspen, and conifer,defined on the basis of the dominant vegetation at the scale of hundreds of meters. Dipteran communities were clearly differentiated by habitat type rather than geographic proximity. This result also holds true for hymenopteran communities. Body size and feeding habits were associated with habitat specialization at the family level. In particular, habitat generalists at the family level,taxa perhaps more likely to survive anthropogenic habitat alteration,tended to be trophic generalists. Dipteran species richness was marginally correlated with hymenopteran species richness and was significantly correlated with the total number of insect orders sampled by site. Because these correlations result from differences in richness among habitat types, insect taxa may be reasonable surrogates for one another when sampling is done across habitat types. In sum, community-wide studies appear to offer a practical way to gather information about the diversity and distribution of little-known taxa. Resumen:No existe ni el tiempo ni los recursos para diseñar planes de conservación para cada especie, particularmente para los taxones poco estudiados, no carismáticas, pero ecológicamente importantes que componen la mayoría de la biodiversidad. Para explorar la factibilidad de basar acciones de conservación en biogegrafía a nivel comunitario, muestreamos una comunidad de insectos de montaña. Evaluamos tres aspectos: (1) la escala adecuada para el muestreo de comunidades de insectos; (2) la asociación de especialización de hábitat,quizá una medida de vulnerabilidad de extinción,con otras características ecológicas o físicas; y (3) la correlación de la diversidad a lo largo de los grupos principales de insectos. Mediante el uso de trampas en el condado Gunnison, en Colorado, capturamos 8847 dípteros (identificados a nivel de familia y morfoespecies), 1822 himenópteros (identificadas hasta morfoespecies) y 2107 otros insectos (identificados a nivel de orden). Muestreamos tres tipos de hábitats,vega, álamos temblones y coníferas,definidos en base a la vegetación dominante a escala de cientos de metros. Las comunidades de dípteros estuvieron claramente diferenciadas por tipos de hábitat y no por la proximidad geográfica. Este resultado también se mantiene para las comunidades de himenópteros. El tamaño del cuerpo y los hábitos alimenticios estuvieron asociados con la especialización del hábitat a nivel de familia. En particular, los generalistas de hábitat a nivel de familia,los taxones que posiblemente tengan mayor probabilidad de sobrevivir alteraciones antropogénicas del hábitat,tendieron a ser generalistas tróficos. La riqueza de las especies de dípteros estuvo marginalmente correlacionada con la riqueza de especies de himenópteros y estuvo significativamente correlacionada con el número total de órdenes de insectos muestreadas por sitio. Debido a que estas correlaciones resultaron de diferencias en la riqueza de especies entre tipos de hábitats, los taxones de insectos podrían ser substitutos mutuos razonables cuando se muestrea entre diferentes tipos de hábitats. En resumen, los estudios a lo largo de comunidades parecen ofrecer una forma práctica de recolectar información sobre la diversidad y distribución de los taxones poco estudiados. [source]

    Use of Premontane Moist Forest and Shade Coffee Agroecosystems by Army Ants in Western Panama

    Dina L. Roberts
    Behavioral and distributional studies of these two species have been confined largely to humid lowland forest. We conducted intensive systematic area searches at elevations between 1200 and 1800 m in western Panama to assess the distribution of both species in intact premontane moist forest, shade coffee plantations, and sun coffee plantations. Both species were repeatedly observed in forest, shade coffee plantations close to forest, and shade coffee plantations distant from forest. Neither species was observed in sun coffee plantations. We believe that retention of certain forest-like characteristics in the traditional shade coffee farm contributes to the persistence of these forest organisms in modified landscapes. Large canopy trees not only provide shade that buffers temperature extremes but also supply the ground layer with regular inputs of leaf litter and coarse woody debris from fallen trunks. Both E. burchelli and L. praedator hunt in leaf litter, and E. burchelli uses coarse woody debris as nesting sites ( bivouacs). There were significantly fewer potential bivouacs available in sun coffee plantations than in forest and shade coffee habitats. Also, litter depth was less in sun coffee than in forest and shade coffee. Our results provide the first evidence that shade coffee plantations can provide additional habitat for E. burchelli and L. praedator, top predators of the leaf litter arthropod community. E. burchelli and L. praedator act as critical links between swarm-attendant bird species and leaf-litter arthropods, providing an easily exploited food resource that would otherwise be unavailable for many birds. Continued conversion of shade coffee plantations to sun coffee plantations could have negative effects on army ants and associated biodiversity. Resumen: Las hormigas arrierras Neotropicales, Eciton burchelli y Labidus praedator ( Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ecitoninae) son especies que requieren de extensas áreas de hábitat para cazar. Los estudios conductuales y de la distribución de estas especies se han realizado principalmente en bosques húmedos en tierras bajas. Desarrollamos búsquedas sistemáticas intensivas en elevaciones entre 1200 y 1800 msnm en Panama occidental para determinar la distribución de ambas especies en bosque húmedo premontano intacto, en plantaciones de café con y sin sombra. Las dos especies fueron observadas recurrentemente en bosque y en plantaciones de café de sombra cercanos y lejanos al bosque. Consideramos que la retención de ciertas características del bosque en las plantaciones de café de sombra contribuye a la persistencia de estos organismos de bosque en ambientes modificados. Los árboles no solo proporcionan sombra que amortigua la temperatura, sino que proporcionan hojarasca y restos leñosos de troncos caídos. Tanto E. burchelli como L. praedator cazan en la hojarasca, E. burchelli utiliza restos leñosos para anidar (vivaques). Encontramos significativamente menos vivaques en plantaciones de café sin sombra al compararlos con bosque y plantaciones de café con sombra. Asimismo, la profundidad de la capa de hojarasca fue menor en plantaciones de café sin sombra en comparación con bosque y plantaciones de café con sombra. Nuestros resultados proporcionan la primera evidencia de que las plantaciones con sombra proporcionan hábitat adicional para E. burchelli y L. praedator, depredadores de la comunidad de artrópodos en la hojarasca. E. burchelli y L. praedator actúan como eslabones críticos entre especies de aves que se alimentan de hormigas y los artrópodos de la hojarasca, proporcionando un recurso alimenticio fácilmente explotado que de otra manera no estaría disponible para muchas aves. La continua transformación de plantaciones de café con sombra a plantaciones sin sombra pudiera tener efectos negativos sobre las hormigas arrieras y la biodiversidad asociada. [source]

    Biology of the solitary wasp Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) agamemnon Richards 1934 (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae) in trap-nests

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 4 2010
    Maria Luisa Tunes Buschini
    Abstract Buschini, M.L.T. and Fajardo, S. 2009. Biology of the solitary wasp Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) agamemnon Richards 1934 (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae) in trap-nests. ,Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 426,432. Some Trypoxylon species build their nests in preexisting tubular cavities like hollow stems and beetle borings in branches. Study of the biology of these insects is relatively easy because the females of these wasps nest with enormous success in trap-nests. The aim of this study was to investigate the abundance, seasonality and life-history of Trypoxylon agamemnon. For capture of these insects, trap-nests were installed in the Parque Municipal das Araucárias in araucaria forest, grassland and swamp, from December, 2001 to December, 2005. Two hundred and ninety seven nests were obtained. They were constructed more often during the summer (from December to April). The nests were built only in araucaria forest and consisted of a linear series of cells, divided by mud partitions, whose number varied from 1 to 7. Normally they have only one vestibular cell. The inner cells had been provisioned, usually with spiders of Anyphaenidae family. Sex-ratio was strongly female biased. Its main natural enemies included Chrysididae, Ichneumonidae and Tachinidae. [source]

    Strongly female-biased sex allocation in a trivoltine population of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) opacum Brèthes (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae)

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 4 2010
    Maria Luisa Tunes Buschini
    Abstract Buschini, M.L.T. and Bergamaschi, A.C.B. 2009. Strongly female-biased sex allocation in a trivoltine population of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) opacum Brèthes (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). ,Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 433,439. This study was carried in southern Brazil from December 2001 to December 2004. The aim of this paper is to provide additional information on the life-history and sex allocation of this little known species. This wasp's species has two alternative life histories: either they pupated immediately and emerged as adults later in the same season (direct development) or they entered diapause, overwintering and pupating the following spring (delayed development). The numerical sex ratio of overwintering and of direct developing wasps were strongly female biased in 2002, 2003 and 2004. [source]

    Structural and ultrastructural studies of male reproductive tract and spermatozoa in Xylocopa frontalis (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 2 2010
    B. S. Fiorillo
    Abstract Fiorillo, B. S., Zama, U., Lino-Neto, J. and Báo, S. N. 2010. Structural and ultrastructural studies of male reproductive tract and spermatozoa in Xylocopa frontalis (Hymenoptera, Apidae). ,Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 176,183. In Xylocopa frontalis the reproductive tract is composed of testes, deferent ducts, seminal vesicles, accessory glands and an ejaculatory duct. Each testis comprises four testicular tubules in which multiple cysts are present containing approximately 64 spermatozoa per cyst. The seminal vesicle consists of an epithelium, a thick basement lamina and a muscular external sheet. In the luminal region some vesicles can be observed; however, the epithelial cells of the seminal vesicle do not display morphological features associated with secretory functions. The spermatozoa, measuring approximately 260 µm long, are similar to the hymenopteran pattern. The head region consists of an acrosome with an inner perforatorium that penetrates an asymmetrical nuclear tip. The nucleus is linear, electron-dense and its posterior tip projects into the beginning of the axoneme. The centriolar adjunct is asymmetric with many electron-lucent lacunae interspersed throughout. The axoneme has the 9 + 9 + 2 pattern of microtubules and in the posterior region the central microtubules finish first, followed by the doublets and finally the accessory microtubules. The mitochondrial derivatives are asymmetric in both length and diameter with paracrystalline material present only in the larger one. These features may be useful characters for taxonomy and phylogenetic studies. [source]

    Structure and ultrastructure of the spermatozoa of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley and Trichogramma atopovirilia Oatman and Platner (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 3 2000
    José Lino-Neto
    Abstract Lino-Neto, J., Báo, S. N. and Dolder, H. 2000. Structure and Ultrastructure of the Spermatozoa of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley and Trichogramma atopovirilia Oatman and Platner (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae). ,Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 81: 205,211 Spermatozoa of the Trichogramma pretiosum and T. atopovirilia are very slender and long, about 0.35 µm in diameter and 283 µm and 106 µm in length, respectively. Under light microscopy, they appear wavy along their entire length. The head contains a small acrosome which, together with the initial nuclear region is surrounded by an ,extracellular sheath', from which innumerable filaments irradiate. The nucleus is filled with homogeneous, compact chromatin and is attached to the flagellum by an electron dense centriolar adjunct, which extends anteriorly from the nuclear base. The flagellum consists of an axoneme with the 9 + 9 + 2 microtubule arrangement pitched in a long helix, as well as a pair of spiralling mitochondrial derivatives which coil around the axoneme. Based on these characteristics, the sperm of these Trichogramma are very similar to the chalcidoids studied to date and differ from non-chalcidoid Hymenoptera. They differ widely from the sperm of T. dendrolimi and T. ostriniae studied, where no helically twisted structure is shown. However, based on these results we argue that the spiralling of the flagellar structures is a synapomorphy for Trichogrammatidae as well as for Eulophidae + Eurytomidae + Pteromalidae. [source]

    New role for majors in Atta leafcutter ants

    Abstract 1.,Atta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leafcutter ants display the most polymorphic worker caste system in ants, with different sizes specialising in different tasks. The largest workers (majors) have large, powerful mandibles and are mainly associated with colony defence. 2.,Majors were observed cutting fallen fruit and this phenomenon was investigated in the field by placing mango fruit near natural Atta laevigata and Atta sexdens colonies in São Paulo State, Brazil. 3.,Ants cutting the fruit were significantly heavier (mean = 49.1 mg, SD = 11.1 mg, n= 90) than the ants carrying the fruit back to the nest (mean = 20.9 mg, SD = 9.2 mg, n= 90). 4.,Fruit pieces cut by majors were small (mean = 15.9 mg), approximately half the weight of leaf pieces (mean = 28.5 mg) cut and carried by media foragers. It is hypothesised that it is more difficult to cut large pieces from three-dimensional objects, like fruit, compared to two-dimensional objects, like leaves, and that majors, with their longer mandibles, can cut fruit into larger pieces than medias. 5.,The study shows both a new role for Atta majors in foraging and a new example of task partitioning in the organisation of foraging. [source]

    Gall wasps and their parasitoids in cork oak fragmented forests

    Abstract 1.,This paper explores the potential effects of host-plant fragmentation on cork oak gall wasp populations (Cynipidae, Hymenoptera) and on their predators, lethal inquilines, and parasitoids. To address this objective, galls were collected across a gradient of cork oak (Quercus suber) forest fragmentation in the East Pyrenees (Albera, Spain), and they were incubated to obtain the parasitism rates. 2.,Two hypotheses were tested: (1) Host-plant fragmentation may induce a decline in gall wasp populations because of area and isolation effects on local extinction and dispersal; as a consequence of that, parasitoids may decline even more strongly in fragmented habitats than their prey. (2) Host-plant fragmentation may cause a decline in gall wasp parasitoid populations that, in turn, can lead to an ecological release in their prey populations. 3.,Among the eight cork oak gall wasps sampled in the study area of Albera, the gall abundances of three species (Callirhytis glandium, Callirhytis rufescens, and Andricus hispanicus) were significantly related to forest fragmentation. The overall abundance of gall wasps was affected by a radius of , 890 m surrounding landscape, presenting constant abundances with forest loss until forest cover is reduced at , 40%; below that value the abundance increased rapidly. Three inquilines and 23 parasitoids species were recorded after gall incubation. In 25 cases, species of inquilines and parasitoids were newly recorded for the corresponding host in the Iberian peninsula. 4.,Although the overall parasitism rate was high (1.1), it was uncorrelated with fragmentation and with overall cynipid abundance. These results indicate that host-plant fragmentation was correlated with higher abundance of gall wasps, whereas the parasitism rate could not explain this hyper-abundance in small forest fragments. [source]

    Dynamic matching of forager size to resources in the continuously polymorphic leaf-cutter ant, Atta colombica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    E. CLARK
    Abstract 1.,Ergonomic optimisation theory proposes that by increasing variation in worker morphology, social insect colonies may increase their dietary breadth; however, little is known about how this relationship operates at the colony level. This study examines the colony-level pattern of forager size allocation to resource sites in a natural setting. 2.,Using a biologically relevant measure of toughness, it is shown that leaf-cutter ant colonies exploit a variety of plant resources that vary significantly in toughness at any given time. 3.,Forager size is shown to be matched to the toughness of plant material, with larger ants harvesting tougher material. 4.,Furthermore, outbound foragers travelling to a harvest site are matched in size to the toughness of plant material contained within the site and are not a random selection of available foragers. The match between forager size and plant toughness may reduce the number of wasted trips and ill-matched foragers. 5.,The observed colony-level pattern of forager allocation could be the result of learning by individual foragers, or the result of information shared at the colony level. [source]

    Brochosome influence on parasitisation efficiency of Homalodisca coagulata (Say) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) egg masses by Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae)

    Hans-Paul Velema
    Abstract., 1.,Many cicadellid females in the tribe Proconiini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) cover their egg masses with specialised, usually rod-shaped, brochosomes as the eggs are being laid. The brochosomes are produced in Golgi complexes in the Malpighian tubules of Cicadellidae. In contrast to the gravid females, adult males, pre-reproductive adult females, and nymphal males and females produce specialised, usually spherically shaped brochosomes. Brochosomes are also used to cover the external surfaces of nymphs and newly moulted adult males and females. 2.,The function of the brochosome covering the egg masses is unknown but various hypotheses have been suggested, including protecting the eggs against pathogens, predators, and parasitoids. Based on preliminary observations of Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) parasitising the eggs of the cicadellid, Homalodisca coagulata (Say), it is speculated here that brochosomes covering an egg mass hinder parasitisation of eggs by G. ashmeadi. This hypothesis was tested by observing G. ashmeadi females foraging on leaves with H. coagulata egg masses heavily covered with rod-shaped brochosomes vs. those lacking brochosomes. 3.,Cox's proportional hazards model was used to evaluate the probability, per unit time, that a female G. ashmeadi displayed the sequence of behaviours that ended in successful oviposition as influenced by five variables: (a) presence or absence of brochosomes on an egg mass, (b) the leaf surface, upper or lower, being searched by the parasitoid (the egg masses are laid in the parenchyma on the lower leaf surface), (c) the parasitoid's previous ovipositional experience, (d) egg mass size, and (e) the parasitoid's age. 4.,Brochosomes significantly decreased oviposition efficacy of G. ashmeadi females. Scanning electron microscopy showed that females exposed to brochosome-covered egg masses had brochosomes adhering to their tarsi, legs, antennae, and eyes, all of which prompted extensive bouts of grooming. [source]

    Seasonal change in offspring sex and size in Dawson's burrowing bees (Amegilla dawsoni) (Hymenoptera: Anthophorini)

    John Alcock
    Abstract., 1.,Nesting females of Dawson's burrowing bees, Amegilla dawsoni, produce a large size class of offspring, which includes daughters and major sons, and a small size class, which consists entirely of minor sons averaging half the weight of their larger siblings. Female allocation patterns change over the flight season such that the initial pattern of producing daughters shifts toward the production of both daughters and major sons in the middle of the season, and then the production of primarily minor sons in the latter part of the nesting season. 2.,In Dawson's burrowing bees, this pattern is correlated with declines in pollen and nectar availability as the nesting season progresses as well as a heightened risk of dying before the final brood cell is completed. Here, the relation between these factors and the provisioning tactics of nesting Dawson's burrowing bees is discussed. [source]

    Male-biased size dimorphism in ichneumonine wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) , the role of sexual selection for large male size

    Tiit Teder
    Abstract., 1.,Sexual differences in body size are expected to evolve when selection on female and male sizes favours different optima. 2.,Insects have typically female-biased size dimorphism that is usually explained by the strong fecundity advantage of larger size in females. However, numerous exceptions to this general pattern have led to the search for selective pressures favouring larger size in males. 3.,In this study, the benefits of large size were investigated in males of four species of ichneumonine wasps, a species-rich group of parasitoids, many representatives of which exhibit male-biased size dimorphism. 4.,Mating behaviour of all ichneumonine wasps are characterised by pre-copulatory struggles, in the course of which males attempt to override female reluctance to mate. A series of laboratory trials was conducted to study the determinants of male mating success. 5.,A tendency was found for larger males as well as those in better condition to be more successful in achieving copulations. Size dimorphism of the species studied, mostly male-biased in hind tibia length but female-biased in body weight, indicates that sexual selection in males favours longer bodies and appendages rather than larger weight. 6.,The qualitative similarity of the mating patterns suggests that sexual selection cannot completely explain the considerable among-species differences in sexual size dimorphism. 7.,The present study cautions against using various size indices as equivalents for calculating sexual size dimorphism. 8.,It is suggested that female reluctance in ichneumonine wasps functions as a mechanism of female mate assessment. [source]

    Age-dependent clutch size in a koinobiont parasitoid

    Jelmer A. Elzinga
    Abstract., 1. The Lack clutch size theory predicts how many eggs a female should lay to maximise her fitness gain per clutch. However, for parasitoids that lay multiple clutches it can overestimate optimal clutch size because it does not take into account the future reproductive success of the parasitoid. 2. From egg-limitation and time-limitation models, it is theoretically expected that (i) clutch size decreases with age if host encounter rate is constant, and (ii) clutch size should increase with host deprivation and hence with age in host-deprived individuals. 3. Clutch sizes produced by ageing females of the koinobiont gregarious parasitoid Microplitis tristis Nees (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) that were provided daily with hosts, and of females ageing with different periods of host deprivation were measured. 4. Contrary to expectations, during the first 2 weeks, clutch size did not change with the age of the female parasitoid, neither with nor without increasing host-deprivation time. 5. After the age of 2 weeks, clutch size decreased for parasitoids that parasitised hosts daily. The decrease was accompanied by a strong decrease in available eggs. However, a similar decrease occurred in host-deprived parasitoids that did not experience egg depletion, suggesting that egg limitation was not the only factor causing the decrease in clutch size. 6. For koinobiont parasitoids like M. tristis that have low natural host encounter rates and short oviposition times, the costs of reproduction due to egg limitation, time limitation, or other factors are relatively small, if the natural lifespan is relatively short. 7. Koinobiont parasitoid species that in natural situations experience little variation in host density and host quality might not have strongly evolved the ability to adjust clutch size. [source]

    Coexistence of natural enemies in a multitrophic host,parasitoid system

    Michael B. Bonsall
    Abstract., 1. This study explored the temporal and spatial aspects of coexistence over many generations in a multispecies host,parasitoid assemblage. 2. The long-term interaction between the cabbage root fly, Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), and two of its natural enemies, Trybliographa rapae (Hymenoptera: Fitigidae) and Aleochara bilineata (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), in a cultivated field at Silwood Park over 19 years was explored. 3. Although time series showed that the populations were regulated, the impact of the natural enemies was highly variable. Within-year determinants showed that the spatial response of the specialist parasitoid, T. rapae, was predominantly independent of host density while A. bilineata acted simply as a randomly foraging generalist parasitoid. 4. These findings are compared and contrasted with an earlier investigation of the same system when only the first 9 years of the time series were available. This study demonstrated the potential of long-term field studies for exploring hypotheses on population regulation, persistence, and coexistence. [source]

    Preference and performance of the hyperparasitoid Syrphophagus aphidivorus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae): fitness consequences of selecting hosts in live aphids or aphid mummies

    R. Buitenhuis
    Abstract., 1.,Theoretical models predict that ovipositional decisions of parasitoid females should lead to the selection of the most profitable host for parasitoid development. Most parasitoid species have evolved specific adaptations to exploit a single host stage. However, females of the aphid hyperparasitoid Syrphophagous aphidivorus (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) display a unique and atypical oviposition behaviour by attacking either primary parasitoid larvae in live aphids, or parasitoid pupae in dead, mummified aphids. 2.,In the laboratory, the correlation between host suitability and host preference of S. aphidivorus on the host Aphidius nigripes Ashmead parasitising the aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas) was investigated. 3.,The relative suitability of the two host stages was determined by measuring hyperparasitoid fitness parameters (survival, development time, fecundity, sex ratio, and adult size of progeny), and calculating the intrinsic rate of population increase (rm). Host preference by S. aphidivorus females and the influence of aphid defence behaviour on host selection was also examined. 4.,Hyperparasitoid offspring performance was highest when developing from hosts in aphid mummies and females consistently preferred this host to hosts in parasitised aphids. Although aphid defensive behaviour may influence host selection, it was not a determining factor. Ecological and evolutionary processes that might have led to dual oviposition behaviour in S. aphidivorus are discussed. [source]

    High local species richness of parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae; Pimplinae and Rhyssinae) from the lowland rainforests of Peruvian Amazonia

    Ilari E. Sääksjärvi
    Abstract., 1. The parasitic wasp family Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) is of great interest because it has been claimed that its species richness does not increase with decreasing latitude. 2. No extensive studies of the family have been conducted in South American localities. 3. Arthropods were sampled using 27 Malaise traps in the Allpahuayo,Mishana National Reserve (56 000 ha) in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazonian lowland rainforest. The total duration of the sampling programme was 185 Malaise trap months. 4. Altogether, 88 species were collected. This is one of the highest local pimpline and rhyssine species numbers ever recorded. A comparison with results from Mesoamerica revealed that at equal numbers of individuals sampled, the number of Pimplinae and Rhyssinae species in Peruvian Amazonia is at least twofold compared with lowland locations in Mesoamerica and somewhat higher than in the most species-rich Costa Rican higher altitude localities. 5. Non-parametric methods of estimating species richness were applied. These suggest that additional sampling would yield a considerable number of new Pimplinae and/or Rhyssinae species. [source]

    Phorid fly parasitoids of invasive fire ants indirectly improve the competitive ability of a native ant

    Natasha J. Mehdiabadi
    Abstract., 1.,The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive species of south-eastern U.S.A. Since its introduction from South America approximately 70 years ago, this pest has devastated natural biodiversity. 2.,Due to such ecological costs, Pseudacteon phorid fly parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae) from South America are being introduced into the U.S.A. as a potential biological control agent. Here, the indirect effects of these specialised parasitoids on an interspecific native ant competitor, Forelius mccooki (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), are evaluated. 3.,Over the course of a 50-day laboratory experiment, the results show that the native ant improved aspects of exploitative, but not interference, competition when S. invicta -attacking flies were present compared with when they were absent. 4.,Forelius mccooki colonies from the phorid treatment had approximately twice as many foragers at food baits relative to controls; however, there was no significant difference in interference aspects of competition or native ant colony growth between the two treatments. 5.,These results suggest that the S. invicta -specialised parasitoids help shift the competitive balance more in favour of F. mccooki than if these flies were not present; however, this competitive advantage does not translate into increased colony growth after 50 days. These laboratory findings are interpreted with regard to the more complex interactions in the field. [source]

    Gall size determines the structure of the Rabdophaga strobiloides host,parasitoid community

    Brian H. Van Hezewijk
    Abstract., 1.,The relationship between gall size and mortality of the willow pinecone gall midge Rabdophaga strobiloides (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was examined by determining the fate of all galls in a 30-ha area in central Alberta, Canada over 4 years. It was found that gall size has a large effect on the type and intensity of mortality experienced by the gall midge, and consequently this factor has the potential to influence the dynamics of the host,parasitoid interaction through the creation of phenotypic refuges. 2.,Total midge mortality ranged from 51% to 78% over the course of the study and was dominated by parasitism by Torymus cecidomyiae (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) and Gastrancistrus sp. (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) as well as predation by birds. Gall size had a strong, non-linear effect on the attack rates of each of these natural enemies. 3.,Birds attacked the smallest size classes. Torymus cecidomyiae preferentially attacked medium diameter galls and thus avoided predation by birds in smaller galls. Gastrancistrus sp. preferentially attacked the largest galls and consequently suffered lower rates of predation by both T. cecidomyiae and birds. 4.,This study emphasises the importance of understanding the interactions among mortality factors in order to describe adequately the susceptibility of R. strobiloides to parasitism and predation, and ultimately its population dynamics. [source]

    Skewed sex ratios and multiple founding in galls of the oak apple gall wasp Biorhiza pallida

    Rachel J. Atkinson
    Abstract. 1. The gall wasp Biorhiza pallida (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) reproduces by cyclical parthenogenesis. The adults of the sexual generation develop within galls (oak apples) that contain many larval cells. 2. Folliot [(1964) Annales Des Sciences Naturelles: Zoologie, 12, 407,564] found asexual generation females to be of three reproductive types. Androphores produce only sons, gynophores produce only daughters, and gynandrophores produce both sons and daughters. In nature, most oak apples give rise to either only males or only females but a proportion produces both sexes. These mixed-sex galls could result either from eggs laid by one or more gynandrophores or from eggs laid by androphores and gynophores developing within a single gall (multiple founding). 3.,Here the frequency of mixed- and single-sex galls was quantified, and morphological and genetic analyses were carried out on the adults emerging from 10 galls to determine the frequency of multiple founding in B. pallida. 4. Seventy-five per cent of 627 galls yielded only one sex. The majority of the remaining 25% had a highly skewed sex ratio. Low genetic variation in B. pallida limited the application of allozyme-based genetic techniques, however seven of the 10 galls analysed in detail, including mixed-sex galls, appeared to have been multiply founded. Contributions by the different foundresses in multiply founded galls were highly skewed. 5. The significance of multiple founding is discussed in the light of possible adaptive scenarios (reduction of parasitoid-induced mortality, avoidance of local stochastic extinction and inbreeding) and possible competition for oviposition sites. [source]