Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal

Peter Funch

Self-injection of a dipteran parasitoid into a spider

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, Genetics and Ecology
A host invasion strategy hitherto unknown from other insect parasitoids was observed in the dipteran Acrocera orbicula (Fabricius) (Diptera: Acroceridae) parasitizing the wolf spider, Pardosa prativaga (L. Koch) (Araneida: Lycosidae). In laboratory experiments the free-living first instar acrocerid larvae attached themselves firmly to the spiders' integument by the mouthparts, cutting a tiny hole through the integument. No first instar larvae invaded the host. A week later the parasitoids molted, and a small, flexible, and glabrous second instar larva left each of the attached first instar exuviae and invaded the host through the attachment hole of the first instar larva. The novel host invasion pattern observed may reduce physical damage to the host in the initial phase of endoparasitism, enhancing parasitoid survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-2
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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