Examination and revision of the larval life history of Microplitis croceipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Microplitis croceipes (Braconidae) is a solitary parasitoid of Heliothis virescens (Noctuidae), the tobacco budworm. The larva of M. crocepies develops within the abdominal cavity of its host while the host remains active. Larval development culminates with egression of the larva from its host, and subsequent cocoon spinning and pupation near the host's body. Previous research indicated that M. croceipes larvae pass through three instars within the host, followed by egression and pupation. Head capsule measurements recorded in this study at several intervals during larval development revealed that the larvae of M. croceipes pass through five instars. The final molt, i.e. into the fifth instar, occurs during larval egression from the host, and the shed exuvium remains lodged in the egression wound, acting as a plug that prevents exsanguination of the host. The host remains alive through parasitoid pupation, and may play a defensive role guarding the parasitoid cocoon during its development to the adult stage. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

author list (cited authors)

  • McLoud, L. A., Bernal, J., & Vinson, S. B.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • October 2013