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Title: Megamelus bellicus (Hemiptera: Delphacidae): immature stages and biology

Author
item MARIANI, ROXANA
item SOSA, ALEJANDRO
item MARINO DE REMES LENI, ANA

Submitted to: Argentina Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2007
Publication Date: 11/1/2007
Citation: Mariani, R., Sosa, A.J., Marino De Remes Leni, A.M. 2007. Megamelus bellicus (Hemiptera: Delphacidae): immature stages and biology. Revista de La Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, Vol. 66, No. 3-4, pp.189-196

Interpretive Summary: We studied the biology of the planthopper Megamelus bellicus, characterizing its immature stages and providing a key to tell the difference. For the same purpose we included illustrations. The description of each stage was based on 24-h hatched nymphs from the laboratory colony. We selected several characters to distinguish the various stages, from body size to structures in the leg and the tibia spur. This insect was reared on pieces of water hyacinth but also was able to develop on other plants in the same family. The female insert up to nine eggs per scar deeply into the aerenquima of the petiole, most frequently 3-4, less frequently 5, 2 and 6 and rarely 1, 7 and 9. We observed that the eggs were parasitized by an unidentified wasp. As M. bellicus occupies the same ecological habitat as M. scutellaris, we highlighted some morphological and biological aspects that allow their differentiation.

Technical Abstract: The immature stages of Megamelus bellicus Remes Lenicov & Sosa (Hemiptera:Delphacidae) are described, keyed and illustrated. The descritpion of each stage was based on 24-h hatched nymphs from the laboratory colony. The main characters that distinguish the various stages are body size, color, number of tarsomeres and tibial spines, and number of teeth on the metatibial spur. This insect was reared on pieces of water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms Laubach. Biological data based on lab and field observations show that M. belliucus carry out its biological cycle successfully on Pontederiaceae. One to nine eggs per scar are laid deeply into the aerenquima of the petiole, being most frequent 3-4, less frequent 5, 2 and 6 and rarely 1, 7 and 9. Eulophid wasp Aprostocetus (Ootetratichus) sp known as eggs parasitoid, was registered and quantified. As M. Bellicus occupies the same ecological habitat that M. scutellaris Berg, we highlighted some morphological and biological aspect that allow their differentiation.