Printer Friendly

An observation of the parasitoid Melittobia australica Girault (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and its host, the solitary wasp Sceliphron Asiaticum (Linnaeus) (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae).

Hymenoptera encompass a vast array of biological life-styles, including two truly remarkable diversifications within the insects: the largest development of eusocial taxa among the animals and the greatest elaboration of parasitic behavior among the insects (Whitfield, 1998). The parasitic mode of life, although not exclusive to hymenopterans, is a distinctive and important behavior, that is present in a wide variety of relationships, including endoparasitism, ectoparsitism, hyperparasitism and others.

Wasps in the genus Meliltobia (Eulophidae) are small (1.0-1.5 mm), gregariously developing idiobionts, which parasitize many species of solitary bees and wasps and their nest cohabitants (Matthews et al., 2009).

In the present paper, we report the parasitic relationship between the eulophid parasitoid Melittobia australica Girault, 1912 and its host, the solitary wasp Sceliphron asiaticum (Linnaeus, 1758) (Sphecidae) in Brazil. The parasitic relationship between Melittobia and Sceliphron hosts has already been documented in Cuba, Costa Rica and The Dominican Republic (Freeman and Parnell, 1973; Genaro, 1994, 1996; Dahms, 1984b; Hunt, 1993; Hanson and Gauld, 1995; Gonzalez et al., 2004). Parasitism by Melittobia is considered a major cause of mortality for immature Sceliphron inside nests (Freeman and Parnell, 1973; Matthews et al., 2009).

There are six described species of Sceliphron, which occur in tropical and temperate regions (Amarante, 2002). Two species of Sceliphron have been recorded from Brazil: S. asiaticum (Linnaeus, 1758) and S. fistularium (Dahlbom, 1843). Only Sceliphron asiaticum is known from the State of Piaui (Amarante, 2002). This solitary wasp builds mud nests using detritus and even feces. Spider body parts are primary food source for Sceliphron larvae and are sometimes used in nest construction (Bohart, 1976).

Presently, there are 12 described Melittobia species worldwide (Matthews et al., 2009; Noyes, 2013); two species are found in Brazil: M. australica Girault, 1912 and M. hawaiiensis Perkins, 1907 (Dahms, 1984a; Mathews et al., 2009). These are common enemies of many solitary wasps, such as species of Trypoxylon and Sceliphron (Sphecidae) and Bombus (Apidae). In addition, host records for Melittobia species include various species of Coleoptera, Diptera, Dictyoptera and Lepidoptera (Matthews et al., 2009). Melittobia has shown to have devastating effects on pollinator populations due to a large multiplier effect. Melittobia can produce several hundred progeny per host and has multiple successive generations per year (Matthews et al., 2009).

A nest of 5. asiaticum (Fig. 1) was collected in May 2011 inside a house in the municipality of Floriano, Piaui, in northeastern Brazil (06[degrees]47'02"S, 43[degrees]02'25"W) and taken to the entomology laboratory at EMBRAPA MeioNorte, at Teresina, Piaui. The nest was kept in a sealed plastic container so that any emerging parasitoids could be observed. After the parasitoids emerged, we examined the inside of the nest, looking for spiders and Sceliphron pupae. The sphecid pupae were extracted and the parasitoid contents were dried and either card or slide mounted. Any spider parts were identified and then discarded. The parasitoid wasps were identified using keys by Dahms (1984a) and LaSalle (1993). The solitary wasp was identified by Dr. Marcio Luiz de Oliveira at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia. The spiders were identified by the first author (LSC). One specimen of Sceliphron found inside the nest was mounted as a voucher. All vouchers were deposited in the Hymenoptera collection at the Coleqao de Historia Natural da Universidade Federal do Piaui (CHNUFPI; Curator L. S. Carvalho) in Floriano, Piaui, Brazil.

The presence of S. asiaticum nest near manmade structures has been reported previously for other Sceliphron species, such as S. assimile (Dahlbom, 1843), 5. caementarium, S. fistularium (Dahlbom, 1843) and S. laetum (F. Smith, 1856) worldwide (Freeman and Parnell, 1973; Early and Townsend, 1992; Harris, 1992; Hunt, 1993; Buys, 2009). The nest studied here was constructed mainly of sand soil (mud) and had 12 chambers, each with a single pupa of Sceliphron asiaticum (Fig. 1A). We observed a single egg in each chamber in the S. asiaticum nest. This is similar to other cogeneric species of Sceliphron (e.g., S. assimile and S. laetum) (Hunt, 1993; Elgar and Jebb, 1999). Spider body parts (Fig. 1B) were found near the pupae. (CHNUFPI 0009; Fig. 1C, D). Over 100 winged parasitoids emerged from the sphecid pupae sampled. They were identified as M. australica (CHNUFPI 0010; Fig. 1E, F). No wingless parasitoid emerged. The parasitism rate was 100%.

The spider parts in the S. asiaticum nest were identified as belonging to one of five families: Salticidae, Oxyopidae, Anyphaenidae, Corinnidae (Castianeirinae) and Thomisidae. All individuals are cursorial spiders (Dias et al., 2010) and no orb-web spiders were found. Sceliphron prey on a variety of spider taxa, including only orb-weavers by S. laetum, S. fistularium (Harris, 1992; Elgar and Jebb, 1999; Camillo, 2002; Buys, 2009), and 5. caementarium (Eberhard, 1970; Blackledge and Pickett, 2000). Thus, the finding of only cursorial spiders in the nest of 5. asiaticum is an unexpected result. This present paper provides another conformational record of the parasitism of the solitary wasp S. asiaticum by the parasitoid M. australica, and verifies cursorial spiders as the wasp's unexpected preys.--Leonardo S. Carvalho, Universidade Federal do Piaul, Campus Amilcar Ferreira Sohral--CAFS, BR 343, Km 3.5, Bairro Meladao, 64800-000, Floriano-PI. E-mail: carvalho@ ufpi.edu.br: Programa de Pos-Gradua(do em Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil: Marcus Vinicius O. Bevilaqua, Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Entomologia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia--INPA, Avenida Andre Araujo, 2936, Aleixo, 69060001, Manaus-AM, Brasil. E-mail: marcusbevilaqua@ gmail. com; Ranyse B. Querino, Embrapa Meio-Norte, Avenida Duque de Caxias, 5650, 64006-220, Teresina-PI, Brasil. E-mail: ranyse.silva@embrapa.br.

Caption: Fig. 1. A nest of Sceliphron asiaticum found inside a house in the municipality of Floriano, Piaui, northeastern Brazil and the habitus of adult Sceliphron asiaticum and Melittobia australica. A. Nest. B. Pupae. C. Lateral and D. dorsal view of an adult S. asiaticum. E. Male and F. Female dorsal view of adult M. australica.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors wish to thank Dr. Marcio Luiz de Oliveira (INPA) for the identification of the solitary wasp. The authors thank Dr. Christine Johnson and two anonymous referees for comments on early draft of the manuscript. Collecting permits were issued by the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservacao da Biodiversidade (ICMBio), through the Sistema de Autorizacao e Informagao em Biodiversidade (SISBIO #28629-2).

Received 22 April 2014; accepted 4 May 2014

LITERATURE CITED

Abe, J., M. Shimada, N. Kondo and Y. Kamimura. 2003. Extremely female-biased sex ratio and lethal male-male combat in a parasitoid wasp, Melittobiu australica (Eulophidae). Behavioral Ecology 14: 34-39.

Abe, J., Y. Kamimura and M. Shimada. 2005. Individual sex ratios and offspring emergence patternsin a parasitoid wasp, Melittobia australica (Eulophidae), with superparasitism and lethal combat among sons. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57: 366-373.

Amarante, S. T. P. 2002. A synonymic catalog of the Neotropical Crabronidae and Sphecidae (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Arquivos de Zoologia 37: 1-139.

Blackledge, T. A. and K. M. Pickett. 2000. Predatory interactions between mud-dauber wasps (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae) and Argiope (Araneae, Araneidae) in captivity. The Journal of Arachnology 28: 211-216.

Bohart, R. M. and A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid wasps of the world. University of California, Berkeley, 695 pp.

Buys, S. C. 2009. Sphecidae (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Rio de Janeiro State (Southeastern Brazil): inventory of species and notes on biology and distribution. Arquivos do Museu Nacional 67: 275-282.

Camillo, E. 2002. The natural history of the mud-dauber wasp Sceliphron jistularium (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) in southeastern Brazil. Revista de Biologia Tropical 50: 127-34.

Dahms, E. 1984a. Revision of the genus Melittobia (Chalcidoidea; Eulophidae) with the description of seven new species. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 21: 271-336.

Dahms, E. 1984b. A review of the biology of species in the genus Melittobia (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) with interpretations and additions using observations on Melittobia australica. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 21: 337-360.

Dias, S. C., L. S. Carvalho, A. B. Bonaldo and A. D. Brescovit. 2010. Refining the establishment of guilds in Neotropical spiders (Arachnida: Araneae). Journal of Natural History 44: 219-239.

Early, J. W. and J. I. Townsend. 1992. Further New Zealand records of Sceliphron (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). New Zealand Entomologist 16: 52-54.

Eberhard, W. 1970. The predatory behavior of two wasps, Agenoideus humilis (Pompilidae) and Sceliphron caementarium (Sphecidae). on the orb weaving spider Araneus cornutus (Araneidae). Psyche 77: 243-251.

Elgar, M. A. and M. Jebb. 1999. Nest provisioning in the mud-dauber wasp Sceliphron laetum (F. Smith): body mass and taxa specific prey selection. Behavior 136: 147-159.

Freeman, B. E. and J. R. Parnell. 1973. Mortality of Sceliphron assimile Dahlbom (Sphecidae) caused by the eulophid Melittobia chalybii Ashmead. Journal of Animal Ecology 42: 779-784.

Genaro, J. A. 1994. Inquilinos de Sceliphron assimile, con enfasis en Podium fulvipes (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Sphecidae, Megachilidae). Caribbean Journal of Science 30: 268-270.

Genaro, J. A. 1996. Nest parasites (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera) of some wasps and bees (Vespidae, Sphecidae, Colletidae. Megachilidae, Anthophoridae) in Cuba. Caribbean Journal of Science 32: 239-240.

Gonzalez, J. M., J. A. Genaro and R. W. Matthews. 2004. Species of Melittobia (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) established in Bahamas, Costa Rica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Trinidad. Florida Entomologist 87: 619-620.

Hanson, P. E. and I. D. Gauld. 1995. The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 920 pp.

Harris, A. C. 1992. Wasps of the genus Sceliphron (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) intercepted in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 15: 39-42.

Hunt, J. H. 1993. Survivorship, fecundity and recruitment in a mud dauber wasp, Sceliphron assimile (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 86: 51-59.

LaSalle, J. 1993. North American genera of Tetrastichinae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Journal Natural History 28: 109-236.

Matthews, R. W., J. M. Gonzalez, J. R. Matthews and L. D. Deyrup. 2009. Biology of the parasitoid Melitlobia (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Annual Review of Entomology 54: 251-66.

Noyes, J. S. 2013. Universal Chalcidoidea Database, Natural History Museum, on line at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids.

Whitfield, J. B. 1998. Phylogeny and evolution of host-parasitoid interactions in Hymenoptera. Annual Review of Entomology 43: 129-151.

----------

Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
COPYRIGHT 2014 New York Entomological Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:SCIENTIFIC NOTE
Publication:Entomologica Americana
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2014
Words:1657
Previous Article:The first record of Hydrometra bifurcata (Heteroptera: Hydrometridae) from the island of Reunion, with distributional notes on other Hydrometra...
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters