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A fly larva (Syrphidae: Ocyptamus) that preys on adult flies

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      Abstract

      Predatory syrphid larvae feed on relatively immobile prey, but here we report the first case (as far as we are aware) of obligatory predation on very mobile prey. Larvae of an undescribed species of Ocyptamus (Diptera: Syrphidae) were found in whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) aggregations on the undersides of citrus leaves. However, instead of preying on the whitefly nymphs (as would be expected), the larvae preyed on adult flies (Diptera) that were attracted to the honeydew. In the laboratory, larvae captured significantly more flies on whitefly infested leaves than on washed leaves, and generally abandoned leaves that lacked whiteflies. Most cases of successful prey capture involved flies that probed the anterior part of the larva’s body with its proboscis (as if it were honeydew). The syrphid larva lashed out at the fly and entangled it in sticky oral secretion. The prey did not recover when they were removed from the larva, suggesting that this new predatory species also employs venom to subdue its prey. Although the larvae consumed some honeydew, they were unable to complete their development on this diet. Two parasitoids were reared from Ocyptamus puparia, Proaspicera sp. (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) and Paracarotomus sp. (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), both of which are endoparasitic koinobionts. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (4): 1157-1163. Epub 2010 December 01.

      Translated abstract

      Las larvas depredadoras de Syrphidae se alimentan de presas relativamente inmóviles, pero aquí reportamos el primer caso (hasta ahora conocido) de la depredación obligatoria en presas muy móviles. Se encontraron las larvas de una especie no descrita de Ocyptamus (Diptera: Syrphidae) juntas con ninfas de mosca blanca (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) en el envés de las hojas de cítricos. Sin embargo, en vez de alimentarse de las ninfas de mosca blanca (como debería esperarse), las larvas se alimentaron de moscas adultas (Diptera) que fueron atraídas a las excreciones azucaradas de la mosca blanca. En el laboratorio, las larvas capturaron más moscas cuando estaban en hojas con mosca blanca que cuando estaban en hojas lavadas, y generalmente abandonaron las hojas sin mosca blanca. La mayoría de las capturas exitosas de presas ocurrieron cuando la mosca extendió su proboscis y tocó la parte anterior de la larva del sírfido. La larva regurgita hilos pegajosos en el momento de capturar una presa y presas removidas de la larva no recuperaron su movibilidad, lo cual sugiere que el depredador utiliza un veneno para inmovilizar la presa. Aunque las larvas se alimentaron de excreciones azucaradas de mosca blanca, no pudieron completar su desarrollo en esta dieta. Se obtuvieron dos parasitoides de los puparios del sírfido, Proaspicera sp. (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) Paracarotomus sp. (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), ambos son koinobiontes endoparasíticos.

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      Most cited references 15

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      Bionomics and Physiology of Aphidophagous Syrphidae

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        Locomotory behaviour of first instar larvae of aphidophagous syrphidae (Diptera) after contact with aphids

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          Colour, shape and defence in aphidophagous syrphid larvae (Diptera)

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Universidad de Costa Rica Costa Rica
            [2 ] Universidad de Costa Rica Costa Rica
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            rbt
            Revista de Biología Tropical
            Rev. biol. trop
            Universidad de Costa Rica (San José )
            0034-7744
            December 2010
            : 58
            : 4
            : 1157-1163
            S0034-77442010000400009

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO Costa Rica
            Categories
            Biodiversity Conservation
            Biology

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