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J Insect Sci. 2014 Mar 12;14:38. doi: 10.1093/jis/14.1.38.

Natural history and morphology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus and its parasitic relationship with ants nesting in bromeliads.

Author information

1
Biologie I, Universität Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany Med.-Naturwissenschaftliches Forschungszentrum, Ob dem Himmelreich 7, Universität Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany volker.schmid@biologie.uni-regensburg.de.
2
Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Dept. de Zoologia, Pós-graduação em Entomologia, Cx. Postal 19020, 81531-980 Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil mirian_nm@yahoo.com.br.
3
Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Dept. de Zoologia, Pós-graduação em Entomologia, Cx. Postal 19020, 81531-980 Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil lmarinoni@ufpr.br.
4
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Laboratório de Abelhas Nativas (LANUFSC), Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Universitário Trindade, 88040-900 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil rafael_kamke@yahoo.com.br.
5
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Laboratório de Abelhas Nativas (LANUFSC), Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Universitário Trindade, 88040-900 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
6
Med.-Naturwissenschaftliches Forschungszentrum, Ob dem Himmelreich 7, Universität Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Laboratório de Abelhas Nativas (LANUFSC), Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Universitário Trindade, 88040-900 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil anne.zillikens@uni-tuebingen.de.

Abstract

The syrphid subfamily Microdontinae is characterized by myrmecophily of their immature stages, i.e., they develop in ant nests. Data on natural history of microdontines are scarce, especially in the Neotropics. Based on fieldwork in southern Brazil, this study provided new data on development and ecology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus (Hull) (Diptera: Syrphidae) as well as the first morphological descriptions of male genitalia, larvae, and pupa. Immature specimens were specifically found in colonies of the ant species Crematogaster limata Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) found in rosettes of the bromeliad species Aechmea lindenii (E. Morren) Baker (Poales: Bromeliaceae) and A. nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach. Third instar larvae were observed preying on ant larvae, revealing the parasitic nature of P. biluminiferus. In this and several other aspects, the natural history of P. biluminiferus is similar to that of Holarctic microdontine species. Exceptions include: (i) indications that adults of P. biluminiferus outlast the winter months (in contrast to 3(rd)instar larvae in Holarctic species) and (ii) P. biluminiferus' relationship with bromeliads. The importance of bromeliads for this host-parasite system is evaluated in this paper. The single occurrence of another, unidentified microdontine species' pupae in a nest of the ant species Camponotus melanoticus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is reported.

KEYWORDS:

Brazil; Camponotus; Crematogaster; Formicidae; Microdontinae; Neotropics; Syrphidae; host record; myrmecophily

PMID:
25373185
PMCID:
PMC5657375
DOI:
10.1093/jis/14.1.38
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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