Shaw, Mark R (2014) Illustrated notes on the biology of two European species of Euceros Gravenhorst (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Eucerotinae). Proceedings of the Russian Entomological Society. St Petersburg, 85 (1). pp. 122-132. ISSN 1605-7678

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Observational notes and photographs taken in the course of rearing Euceros albitarsus Curtis
and E. pruinosus (Gravenhorst) in captivity from the egg stage are given. The bizarre biology of these
obligate hyperparasitoids involves a planidial larval stage that attaches to caterpillars or sawfly larvae,
followed by a short phase of internal parasitism of a primary parasitoid if already or subsequently present,
followed in turn by the principle growth period of external parasitism on the primary parasitoid, as shown
by Tripp (1961). Observations on aspects of this that were not illustrated by Tripp are given and, although
these transitions are not fully elucidated here, it is speculated that the number of larval instars had hitherto
been overestimated. Investigations on the behaviour and fate of the planidial phase suggest that it is best
able to transfer to primary parasitoids that are associated with the prepupal state of the lepidopteran host.
Planidia on caterpillars that are not themselves parasitised end up in the host pupa, usually occupying the
subalar cavity of the exuvial space (that is, just below the pupal cuticle at the wing cases), but do not
develop further in the absence of a primary parasitoid. A summary of some aspects of the biology of
Euceros that are not yet understood is given: the main uncertainties are the number and feeding positions
of larval instars, the timing and nature of the planidium’s transfer to the primary parasitoid, and the func-­
tion of the unusual male antenna

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Planidium, hyperparasitoid, host relations, life history, Euceros albitarsus, Euceros pruinosus
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Theme: Understanding the natural world
Department: Natural Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 10:07
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2014 10:07

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