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Selective Parasitism by TiphiaSP.

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It has been observed during the past several years that the larvae of Ochrosidia Immaculata became very numerous on a golf course in the vicinity of Moorestown, N. J. Within the past two years, the abundance of the larvae has been reduced approximately 95 per cent. by a native species of fossorial wasp belonging to the genus Tiphia. In the same manner the parasite increased in numbers and as the abundance of the host was reduced the numbers of the parasite decreased nearly 95 per cent. At the same time a related Scarabaeid, Popillia japonica, became very numerous in the same locality. Under conditions in the field only two Popillia larvae were found to be successfully parasitized by the native Tiphias. Experiments which were conducted indicated that the female Tiphia deposited her eggs, by preference, on the Ochrosidia rather than on Popillia larvae. The life histories of Ochrosidia immaculate and Popillia japomca are similar in this region, but the former larvae are larger than the latter, when both are full grown. Nevertheless during the latter part of August, when the Tiphias are present, many Popillia larvae have reached the third instar in their development; while many Ochrosidia larvae are in the second instar and are smaller than the Popillia larvae which have reached the third stage.

It is evident that, at present, this species of Tiphia is selective in its preference for its native host, but since it is possible for some individuals to develop successfully on the Popillia grubs, it is possible the Tiphias may develop a strain which will become parasitic on this introduced species.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1924

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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