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Parasitoids Attacking Larvae of a Recently Introduced Weed Biological Control Agent, Neomusotima conspurcatalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): Key to Species, Natural History, and Integrative Taxonomy

Boughton, Anthony J., Kula, Robert R., Gates, Michael, Zhang, Yali, Nunez, Melissa, O'Connor, Jaqui, Whitfield, James B., Center, Ted D.
Annals of the entomological society of america 2012 v.105 no.6 pp. 753-0
Cotesia, Crambidae, Mesochorus, adulthood, adults, biological control agents, host range, indigenous species, introduced species, larvae, natural enemies, natural history, parasitism, parasitoids, photographs, taxonomy, weeds, Florida
The extent to which introduced weed biocontrol agents are subject to attack by generalist natural enemies within the area of introduction is believed to be an important determinant of program success. We monitored larval populations of a recently introduced weed biocontrol agent, Neomusotima conspurcatalis Warren, at Þeld sites in Florida to investigate parasitism by native parasitoids and to assess the overall rate of parasitism. Of six native parasitoid species reared from wild larvae of N. conspurcatalis, Þve, Rhygoplitis choreuti (Viereck), Stantonia pallida (Ashmead), Elasmus apanteli Gahan, Hyphantrophaga sellersi (Sabrosky), and an unidentiÞed Cotesia sp. were primary parasitoids of the biocontrol agent. The sixth species, Mesochorus apantelis Dasch, is likely a hyper- parasitoid of R. choreuti. From 1,100 N. conspurcatalis larvae collected from three sites, adult parasitoids emerged from 6.8% of those larvae and 73.6% of the N. conspurcatalis developed to adulthood. R. choreuti was the most common parasitoid, accounting for 81% of adults reared. Photographs of parasitoid species are provided, aspects of their natural histories and host ranges are described, and accumulation of native parasitoids on introduced weed biocontrol agents is discussed.