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Life-cycle of the Afrotropical snail-killing fly Sepedon (Parasepedon) ruficeps Becker, 1923

Gbedjissi, Ghélus Louis, Vala, Jean-Claude
African invertebrates 2014 v.55 no.1 pp. 1-17
Fasciola, Schistosoma, Sepedon, adults, biological control, biological control agents, domestic animals, eggs, freshwater, freshwater molluscs, immatures, insect larvae, intermediate hosts, laboratory rearing, multivoltine habit, predation, snails, Benin
Sepedon ruficeps is a widespread species among Sciomyzidae in the Afrotropical Region. Its general distribution, and more specifically that in Benin, is mapped. The complete life-cycle, from egg to adult, and descriptions of all immature stages are presented. Larval predation of freshwater molluscs is analyzed, with the main objective of discovering biological control agents for snail intermediate hosts of trematodes, principally Schistosoma and Fasciola species which affect man and domestic animals. The results reported here relate to Radix natalensis, snail host of Fasciola gigantea. In the absence of sufficient mollusc-prey, however, the fly larvae show alternative predation at the expense of the freshwater snail Aulophorus furcatus. This particularity could allow intensive laboratory rearing, before release of all stages of the fly in the field for biocontrol of distomiasis. S. ruficeps is undoubtedly polyphagous and multivoltine.