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Life cycles and host – parasitoid relationships of five species of Leucospis wasps in Argentina (Hymenoptera: Leucospidae)

Por: Torretta, Juan Pablo. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Cátedra de Botánica General. Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Colaborador(es): Molina, Gonzalo A. R. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina | Aquino, Daniel A. Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores. Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET - Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
ISSN: 1464-5262.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): APIDAE | BIOLOGY | CENTRIS | MEGACHILE | MEGACHILIDAE | PARASITOID BEHAVIOUR | TETRAPEDIA | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR En: Journal of natural history vol.51, no.29–30 (2017), p.1727–1742, tbls., fot., mapasResumen: The genus Leucospis Fabricius is comprised of parasitoid wasps relatively uncommon in nature. Their immature stages develop on aculeate Hymenoptera, in particular solitary bees, but hosts are known for only around 25 Leucospis species (about 20% of 115–120 world species), so the true relationship of this family with bees is largely unknown. Here we report on individuals of five species of Leucospis wasps which emerged from nests of different bee and wasp species during distinct sampling periods during a trap-nesting programme, in two contrasting areas: agroecosystems and natural habitats in the Pampean region. Some of these nests were parasitised by L. cayennensis Westwood, L. coxalis Kirby, L. egaia Walker, L. pulchriceps Cameron and L. signifera Bouček. Our results expand the available information of host species for L. cayennensis, L. coxalis, L. egaia and L. pulchriceps and represent the first record of hosts associated with L. signifera. The hosts were only bee species of the genera Centris, Tetrapedia (family Apidae) and Megachile (Megachilidae). These species were more abundant in the natural reserve than in agro-ecosystems, suggesting that anthropogenic activities could negatively affect their populations. Most nests were attacked in one (43.7%) or two (40.7%) cells, but the remaining nests (16.5%) had more (up to seven cells). However, the position of the attacked cells was variable, suggesting that females of Leucospis species oviposit in recently built cells, and that the hatching of larvae is delayed, or that the first larval stage waits until the host larva reaches a sufficient size to attack.
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The genus Leucospis Fabricius is comprised of parasitoid wasps relatively uncommon in nature. Their immature stages develop on aculeate Hymenoptera, in particular solitary bees, but hosts are known for only around 25 Leucospis species (about 20% of 115–120 world species), so the true relationship of this family with bees is largely unknown. Here we report on individuals of five species of Leucospis wasps which emerged from nests of different bee and wasp species during distinct sampling periods during a trap-nesting programme, in two contrasting areas: agroecosystems and natural habitats in the Pampean region. Some of these nests were parasitised by L. cayennensis Westwood, L. coxalis Kirby, L. egaia Walker, L. pulchriceps Cameron and L. signifera Bouček. Our results expand the available information of host species for L. cayennensis, L. coxalis, L. egaia and L. pulchriceps and represent the first record of hosts associated with L. signifera. The hosts were only bee species of the genera Centris, Tetrapedia (family Apidae) and Megachile (Megachilidae). These species were more abundant in the natural reserve than in agro-ecosystems, suggesting that anthropogenic activities could negatively affect their populations. Most nests were attacked in one (43.7%) or two (40.7%) cells, but the remaining nests (16.5%) had more (up to seven cells). However, the position of the attacked cells was variable, suggesting that females of Leucospis species oviposit in recently built cells, and that the hatching of larvae is delayed, or that the first larval stage waits until the host larva reaches a sufficient size to attack.

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