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, (125), 59-106

Oviposition Behaviour of Four Ant Parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae, Neoneurini and Ichneumonidae, Hybrizontinae), With the Description of Three New European Species

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Oviposition Behaviour of Four Ant Parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae, Neoneurini and Ichneumonidae, Hybrizontinae), With the Description of Three New European Species

José-María Gómez Durán et al. Zookeys.

Abstract

The oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids was observed and filmed for the first time. The movies are available from YouTube (search for Elasmosoma, Hybrizon, Kollasmosoma and Neoneurus). Two of the observed species (Neoneurus vesculussp. n. and Kollasmosoma sentumsp. n.) are new to science. A third species (Neoneurus recticalcarsp. n.) is described from Slovakia and Norway. Keys to the Palaearctic species of the genera Neoneurus and Kollasmosoma are added.

Keywords: Braconidae; Cataglyphis; Elasmosoma; Euphorinae; Europe; Formica; Formicidae; Hybrizon; Ichneumonidae: Hybrizontinae; Kollamosoma; Lasius; Neoneurini; Neoneurus; Norway; Slovakia; Spain; behaviour; biology; key; new species.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Elasmosoma luxemburgense Wasmann, female, Spain, Almazán. Habitus lateral.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
1 female of Elasmosoma luxemburgense approaches the ant’s metasoma with the hind legs extended in curved shape (arrow) 2 the fore legs are darted forward (arrow) 3 when alighting the hind legs brace the apex of the ant’s metasoma (arrow).
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Two sequences of a female of Elasmosoma luxemburgense (red arrow) hitting on the posterior margin of the first gastral segment (yellow arrow) of Formica rufibarbis. After hitting, the wasp begins to fold its wings.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
1 female of Elasmosoma luxemburgense approaches the ant metasoma 2 hits on the posterior margin of the third gastral segment 3 begins to climb 4 arrives at the posterior margin of the second gastral segment 5 reaches the posterior margin of the first gasrtal segment.
Figure 5.
Figure 5.
Arrangement of the legs of Elasmosoma luxemburgense grasping the ant’s metasoma for oviposition.
Figure 6.
Figure 6.
Insertion of the ovipositor by Elasmosoma luxemburgense. 1 the red arrow shows the wasp’s metasoma separated from the ant’s metasoma 2 the yellow arrow shows the metasoma of the parasitoid and of the ant joined during insertion of the wasp’s ovipositor. The fore legs have now advanced their position towards the posterior margin of the first gastral segment.
Figure 7.
Figure 7.
Two sequences of failed attacks by Elasmosoma luxemburgense. 1 the wasp (red arrow) approaches the ant 2 the wasp hits the metasoma 3 the right hind leg of the ant (yellow arrow) strikes the wasp and 4 throws it off 5 the wasp approaches the ant 6 when alighting, the right hind leg of the wasp (yellow arrow) remains over the hind leg of the ant, impeding the grasp of the ant’s metasoma 7 and 8 the wasp flies away.
Figure 8.
Figure 8.
Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n., female, holotype. Habitus lateral.
Figures 9–14.
Figures 9–14.
Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n., female, holotype. 9 head lateral 10 profile of posterior half of mesosoma 11 base of antenna lateral 12 fore leg lateral inner side 13 hind tarsus and tibial spurs lateral 14 apex of metasoma lateral. Scale-line = 1.0×, but of 11 1.5×.
Figure 15.
Figure 15.
Baits were used to keep the ants quiet 1 Messor barbarus cadavers (red arrow) tied with a thread and fixed to the ground 2 honey (red arrow). Females of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. are indicated with a yellow arrow.
Figure 16.
Figure 16.
Workers of Cataglyphis ibericus hitting females of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. (red arrow) with its legs (yellow arrow). 1 at the nest entrance 2 and 3 at the baits.
Figure 17.
Figure 17.
Horizontal alighting. 1 female of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. approaches an ant with the metasoma in horizontal position 2 extends the fore legs (yellow arrow) and grasps the metasoma with the tarsi 3 jumps over the metasoma placing the rest of its legs on it, and folds its wings.
Figure 18.
Figure 18.
Vertical alighting. 1 female of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. (blue arrow) grasps the ant’s metasoma with its fore tarsi 2 starts a 180° rotation around its longitudinal axis 3 at the same time initiates a second rotation, moving vertically towards the ant’s metasoma 4 alights downwards on the ant’s metasoma.
Figure 19.
Figure 19.
Stereomicroscopic image showing the fore legs of a female of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n.
Figure 20.
Figure 20.
Arrangement of the fore legs a female Kollasmosoma sentumsp. n. for the rotation movement. 1 The wasp (the red arrow points the apex of its metasoma) approaches the ant’s metasoma (blue arrow) and extends its fore legs (yellow arrow) 2 the right tarsus is placed over the left one 3 the wasp starts its counter clockwise rotation (yellow arrow points to separation between the fore legs) 4 the wasp alights downwards; at that moment the hind and middle legs (yellow arrow) grasp the ant’s metasoma, and the fore legs move forwards.
Figure 21.
Figure 21.
Arrangement of the fore legs of the female of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. for the rotation movement. 1 the wasp (the red arrow points the apex of the metasoma) approaches the ant’s metasoma and extends its fore legs 2 the right tarsus (yellow arrow) is placed over the left one 3 and 4 the wasp starts its counter clockwise rotation around its longitudinal axis 5 the wasp is in profile and the right fore leg hides the left one 6 the wasp alights downwards on the ant’s metasoma.
Figure 22.
Figure 22.
Oviposition of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. 1 After alighting and folding its wings, the wasp begins to lean backwards (the red arrow points to the space between the apex of the wasp’s metasoma and the ant’s metasoma) 2 before reaching the vertical, the apex of the wasp metasoma moves down, presumably inserting the ovipositor 3 at the vertical position, the apex of the wasp’s metasoma is completely attached to the ant’s metasoma 4 and 5 the wasp continues leaning backwards 6 the wasp flies off backwards.
Figure 23.
Figure 23.
1 Detail of the moment of oviposition of Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. showing the location of the ventral spine (red arrow) 2 stereomicroscopic image showing the ventral spine (red arrow) and the exserted ovipositor (yellow arrow).
Figures 24–27.
Figures 24–27.
Kollasmosoma cubiceps (Huddleston), female, paratype. 28. Kollasmosoma platamonense (Huddleston), female, holotype. 29–30. Kollasmosoma marikovskii (Tobias), female, holotype. 24 head lateral 25 hind tibial spurs lateral 26 profile of posterior half of mesosoma 27 28 middle tarsus and tibial spurs lateral 29 antenna lateral 30 head anterior. 24 scale-line = 1.0×, 25–28 1.4×, 29 30 after Tobias (1986).
Figures 31–43.
Figures 31–43.
Kollasmosoma platamonense (Huddleston), female, Israel, Eilot. 31 wings 32 palpi 33 hind tibial spurs 34 base of antenna 35 apex of antenna 36 mesosoma dorsal 37 habitus lateral 38 head anterior 39 fore leg 40 hind leg 41 fore tarsal spur 42 firstthird metasomal tergites dorsal 43 head dorsal. 31 36–40 42 43: scale-line = 1.0×, 32–35 41: 2.2×.
Figure 44.
Figure 44.
Neoneurus auctus (Thomson), female, Netherlands, Oostkapelle. Habitus lateral.
Figures 45–48.
Figures 45–48.
Neoneurus auctus (Thomson), female, Netherlands, Oostkapelle, but 47 male, Norway, Lom. 49–52. Neoneurus clypeatus (Foerster), female, Netherlands, Meijendel, but 50 male of same locality. 45–51 fore femur dorsal 46, 47, 49, 50 fore leg inner side lateral 48, 52 face dorsal. ast anterior subbasal tooth at apical tooth plc posterior longitudinal carina.
Figure 53.
Figure 53.
Neoneurus clypeatus (Foerster), female, Netherlands, ‘t Harde. Habitus lateral.
Figure 54.
Figure 54.
Neoneurus recticalcar sp. n., female, holotype. Habitus lateral.
Figures 55–57.
Figures 55–57.
Neoneurus recticalcar sp. n., female, holotype. 58–60. Neoneurus vesculus sp. n., female, holotype. 55, 58 fore leg inner side lateral 56, 59 fore femur dorsal 57, 60 face dorsal. 55–57 scale-line = 1.0× 58–60 1.2×. ast = anterior subbasal tooth at apical tooth plc posterior longitudinal carina pst posterior subbasal tooth.
Figure 61.
Figure 61.
Neoneurus vesculus sp. n., female, holotype. Habitus lateral.
Figure 62.
Figure 62.
Female of Neoneurus vesculussp. n. 1 standing on the ground 2 on a grass stem and 3 hovering over the nest entrance.
Figure 63.
Figure 63.
1 female of Neoneurus vesculussp. n. hovering over the nest entrance 2 worker of Formica cunicularia showing the mesonotum (yellow arrow) where the wasp’s head will hit, and the mesopleuron (red arrow) that will be braced by the wasp’s legs 3 after the first hit, the wasp’s metasoma is positioned vertically and its wings are folded.
Figure 64.
Figure 64.
Position of wasp’s tibiae (yellow arrow) of three Neoneurus vesculus sp. n. while bracing the ant’s mesopleuron. In frame 3 the middle legs can be appreciated (red arrow) grasping the posterior part of the mesosoma just before the insertion of the ovipositor.
Figure 65.
Figure 65.
Two attack sequences of Neoneurus vesculussp. n. 1 approaching a worker of Formica cunicularia and fixing its attention on the ant’s mesonotum (yellow arrow) 2 hitting its head on the ant’s mesonotum and extending the fore legs 3 bracing the ant’s mesopleuron with its fore tibia (red arrow), then placing the metasoma vertically, parallel to the ant’s body, and folding the wings prior to oviposition.
Figure 66.
Figure 66.
Insertion of the ovipositor by Neoneurus vesculussp. n. a wasp metasoma b ant metasoma c wasp head; d ant head.
Figures 67–71.
Figures 67–71.
Neoneurus curvicalcar Belokobylskij, female, holotype. 67 head dorsal 68 fore tibia inner side lateral 69 fore femur dorsal 70 fore femur lateral 71 fore tibial spur. After Belokobylskij (1986).
Figure 72.
Figure 72.
Hybrizon buccatus (de Brébisson), female, Spain, Madrid. Habitus lateral.
Figure 73.
Figure 73.
Female of Hybrizon buccatus (left) hovering over a permanent vertical trail established between two nest entrances of a colony of Lasius grandis (right).
Figure 74.
Figure 74.
Female of Hybrizon buccatus approaches an ant and touches the metasoma with its fore leg (yellow arrow). Immediately, the wasp retreats the leg. No oviposition takes place.
Figure 75.
Figure 75.
Oviposition sequence of Hybrizon buccatus. a fore legs b hind legs c middle legs d apex of the metasoma. In frame 4 the wasp begins to bend the metasoma and folds the wings. In frame 5 the apex of the metasoma reaches the ant larva and oviposition takes place.
Figure 76.
Figure 76.
The arrow points the exserted ovipositor of the female of Hybrizon buccatus while the fore legs grasp the ant larva.
Figure 77.
Figure 77.
Female of Hybrizon buccatus ignores a smaller ant larva transported by a worker.
Figure 78.
Figure 78.
Aberrant behaviour of a female of Hybrizon buccatus. a legs b apex of the metasoma touching the grass stem c wings.
Figure 79.
Figure 79.
Duration of the oviposition behaviour (comprising the grasping of the ant by the wasp and the insertion of the ovipositor, until taking off) of three neoneurine Euphorinae: Neoneurus vesculus sp. n. (N = 17), Elasmosoma luxemburgense (N = 38) and Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. (N = 19). Interquartile ranges and outlier data are given.

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References

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