The preimaginal stages and development of Spalangia cameroni Perkins (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) on Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae)
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The development and morphology of the immature phases of Spalangia cameroni Perkins, 1910 (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae) are described from a laboratory rearing culture maintained on Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824) (Diptera, Tephritidae), using microscopic techniques, including light and scanning electron microscopy. The surface of the chorion of the egg is smooth and the micropyle occurs at the anterior end. The immature larvae are similar to the mature larva, differing mainly in the size of the head capsule and mandibles. The mature larva displays tubercules on the body segments as well as a pleurostoma and superior and inferior mandibular processes. On completion of its larval development, an adecticous and exarate pupa is produced. The mandibles of the pupa, as for the adult, are toothed. Three larval instars are recorded based on statistical analyses of the sizes of the larval mandibles and head capsules, in combination with such characters as the number of exuviae and excretion of the meconium. There are significant positive correlations between mandible length and width of larval head capsule with the number of instars, thus indicating that the mandible length and width of larval capsule are good predictors of the number of instars in this parasitoid. Developmental time from egg to adult emergence was similar to 33-34 days for females and similar to 28-29 days for males at 21-26 degrees C, 55-85 RH and a L16:D8 photoperiod. Our results show that the eggs and different instars of S. cameroni can be unambiguously identified only by SEM. Therefore, characterization of the immature stages of Spalangia species using SEM should be done before subsequent routine identifications using a binocular microscope or stereomicroscope. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.