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Population persistence of the parasitoid fly Zaira cinerea (Fallén) (Diptera: Tachinidae) utilizing multiple host carabid beetles with different seasonality and quality

Entomological science 2010 v.13 no.3 pp. 280-287
Carabidae, Tachinidae, adults, autumn, body length, eclosion, hosts, imagos, larvae, multivoltine habit, parasitism, parasitoids, puparium, spring, summer
Zaira cinerea (Fallén) is a parasitoid fly (Diptera: Tachinidae) that attacks adult carabid beetles. To better understand mechanisms of population persistence in this species, we examined seasonality of host beetle abundance, the frequency of parasitism, and the timing of fly eclosion. In addition, we evaluated host quality using numbers of larvae or puparia per individual beetle as a measure of quality. The fly parasitized only large carabids (≥15 mm body length); the lengths of fly puparia reached 7.4-10.8 mm during development in beetle abdomens, and larger hosts are likely essential. Of the 18 large carabid species collected in this study, we chose two, Carabus maiyasanus Bates and Leptocarabus procerulus (Bates), because they were large and abundant (87% of total catch). The two carabids had different phonologies; C. maiyasanus was abundant from spring to summer, and its abundance dropped sharply in autumn, while L. procerulus was abundant in autumn and rare from spring to summer except July. Parasitism was observed in all the months from May to November except June, and adult flies eclosed more than once a year (in early summer, late summer, and mid-autumn), indicating that the species is multivoltine. Host quality of L. procerulus was higher than that of C. maiyasanus. Carabus maiyasanus was mainly used as a host from spring to summer, and L. procerulus was used in autumn. Thus, adult beetles of one or both species are available over most of spring, summer, and autumn, allowing population persistence of this fly species over time.