Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE INSECT PESTS AND WEEDS

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Brachymeria koehleri (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) as a Hyperparasitoid of Lespesia melloi (Diptera: Tachinidae) Pupae in Thagona tibialis (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) Caterpillars in Brazil

Authors
item Tavares, Wagner -
item Legaspi, Jesusa
item Tavares, Marcelo -
item Nunez, Enio -
item Pinto, Rosenilson -
item Zanuncio, Jose -

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 25, 2013
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1653/024.096.0457
Citation: Tavares, W., Legaspi, J.C., Tavares, M., Nunez, E., Pinto, R., Zanuncio, J.C. 2013. Brachymeria koehleri (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) as a Hyperparasitoid of Lespesia melloi (Diptera: Tachinidae) Pupae in Thagona tibialis (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) Caterpillars in Brazil. Florida Entomologist. 96(4):1635-1638.

Interpretive Summary: An organism that is parasitic on another parasite is called a “hyperparasite”. In biological control programs, hyperparasites can cause problems by parasitizing the control agents, thereby reducing their effectiveness. In this study, we report on a hyperparasite of the Lespesia fly that attacks Thagona tibialis caterpillars. In Brazil, these caterpillars destroy tropical almond plants that are grown for ornamental or medicinal properties. Thagona caterpillar pupae were collected from a tropical almond plant by scientists at the USDA-Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida and at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. From these pupae, a hyperparasite emerged and was identified as Brachymeria koehleri. This is the first report of this hyperparasite developing as a parasite of Lespesia attacking caterpillars of Thagona in Brazil.

Technical Abstract: Hyperparasitoids use the offspring of other parasitoids for their development, which can reduce the efficiency of biological control. The aim of this study was to present the first report of hyperparasitoidism by Brachymeria koehleri Blanchard, 1935 (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) in pupae of Lespesia sp. (Diptera: Tachinidae) parasitizing caterpillars of Thagona tibialis Walker, 1855 (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) in Brazil. Forty nine pupae of T. tibialis with different ages were collected after their caterpillars’ defoliated one plant of Terminalia catappa L. (Combretaceae) on the campus of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. These pupae were placed in plastic pots of 500 mL and brought to the Laboratory of Biological Control of Insects (LCBI) of UFV where they remained in test tubes (12 cm long × 2 cm diameter) until emergence of lepidopterans or of parasitoids. Thirteen pupae of T. tibialis showed puparia with emergence of eight individuals of Lespesia sp., one female of B. koehleri and four pupae were unviable. This is the first report of hyperparasitoidism by B. koehleri in pupae of Lespesia sp. parasitizing caterpillars of T. tibialis in Brazil.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page