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Sex-biased parasitism of adult spring beetles, Heteronyx dimidiata and Heteronyx crinitus, by Tachinidae in Eucalyptus nitens plantations in Australia

Citation

Walker, PW and Allen, GR, Sex-biased parasitism of adult spring beetles, Heteronyx dimidiata and Heteronyx crinitus, by Tachinidae in Eucalyptus nitens plantations in Australia, Austral Entomology, 53, (1) pp. 104-111. ISSN 2052-174X (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Australian Entomological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/aen.12056

Abstract

Parasitism of adult Heteronyx dimidiata (Erichson) and H. crinitus Blackburn (Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae), that attack Eucalyptus nitens plantation seedlings in southern Australia, was recorded over 3 years. An undescribed genus of Blondeliini (Tachinidae: Exoristinae) was reared from both scarab species while a Palpostoma sp. (Tachiinae) was reared from H. crinitus. Flies were observed parasitising flying beetles by intercepting them mid-air. Eggs were laid externally on the exoskeleton, mainly on the dorsum of abdominal tergites. Male H. dimidiata were parasitised significantly more (40%) than female conspecifics (13%) and male or female H. crinitus (both 13%), which was attributed to their greater flight activity searching for mates. Superparasitism was common in both species, particularly in male H. dimidiata (56% of parasitised beetles, up to 22 eggs/beetle), despite evidence that only a single tachinid could complete development in a beetle. Early stages of parasitism in H. dimidiata females did not appear to affect ovarian development nor the ability of beetles to feed on young trees. However, we infer that the tachinids had a significant impact on Heteronyx spp. populations through a reduction in adult beetle longevity and fitness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Blondeliini, Melolonthinae, Palpostoma, Scarabaeidae, tachinid
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Forestry Sciences
Research Field:Forestry Pests, Health and Diseases
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species
Objective Field:Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Forest and Woodlands Environments
Author:Walker, PW (Dr Paul Walker)
Author:Allen, GR (Associate Professor Geoff Allen)
ID Code:86666
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-10-09
Last Modified:2017-11-09
Downloads:0

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