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Title: LIFE HISTORY OF MEGAMELUS SCUTELLARIS BERG WITH DESCRIPTION OF IMMATURE STAGES (HEMIPTERA: DELPHACIDAE).

Author
item SOSA, A
item REMES LENICOV, A. MARINO DE
item MARIANI, R
item CORDO, HUGO

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2004
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The SABCL have been conducting surveys in search of new biological agents of the aquatic weed water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms-Laubach (Pontederiaceae). Among the insects found, delphacids identified as Megamelus scutellaris Berg were the most abundant. As the correct characterization and identification of adults and immature stages of a possible agent are essential in a Biological Control Program, we studied the life history of M. scutellaris and reported for the first time descriptions of its immature stages. The main characters that allow us to distinguish the various stages are: body size, number of tarsomeres and of tibial spines, color, and number of teeth on the metatibial spur. In addition, biological data based on laboratory rearing and field observations show that this planthopper can carry out its biological cycle successfully on water hyacinth. Mating occurs close to the water level and one to four eggs per scar are laid in the apical portion of petioles and pseudolaminae of the plant. Ovipositional scars are recognized by three parallel marks. The efficient rearing in captivity, the high survivorship registered, and overwintering solely on this host plant, strongly support M. scutellaris as a potential biocontrol agent of this invasive aquatic weed.

Technical Abstract: The five immature stages of Megamelus scutellaris Berg (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) are described and illustrated. The main characters that allow us to distinguish the various stages are: body size, number of tarsomeres and of tibial spines, color, and number of teeth on the metatibial spur. New biological data based on laboratory rearing and field observations shows that M. scutellaris can carry out its biological cycle successfully on water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms Laubach (Pontederiaceae). Mating occurs close to the water level and one to four eggs per scar are laid in apical portion of petiole and pseudolaminae. Ovipositional scars are recognized by three parallel marks. In addition, the efficient rearing in captivity, the high survivorship registered, and overwintering solely on this host plant, suggest M. scutellaris as a potential biocontrol agent of this invasive aquatic weed.