Parasitoids

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Parasitoids of ants may occupy a variety of ecological niches within their host ant colony. Most are internal parasites of ant brood and ant adults. Many are hymenopterans and dipterans as well as Strepsipterans. There is another subset of parasitoids that attack myrmecophiles and other organisms living with the ants (eg. Horismenus, Microdonophagus). Ant parasitoids are a possible agent for biocontrol of pest ants. Most parasitoids are obscure and poorly known. Some species attack ants as well as other insect hosts.

Diptera

Hymenoptera

Eucharitidae

Eucharitidae parasitize the immature stages of Formicidae and are among the most diverse hymenopteran parasitoids of eusocial insects. Females are oviparous and proovigenic and lay their eggs inside or on plant tissues, either individually or in masses. They oviposit away from the host, with the active first instar larva (planidium) responsible for getting into the ant nest through various associations with foraging adult ants. Once in contact with the larval ant host, the planidium either remains as an external parasite or burrows into the host. Upon pupation of the host, the larva migrates to the ventral region of the thorax, just posterior to the legs of the newly formed pupa, then resumes development through two additional instars. The adults emerge and leave the nest on their own or may be carried by the ants and deposited in the accumulation of colony waste.

Worldwide, approximately 700 Eucharitidae species attack five subfamilies across the ant phylogeny.

Eucharitidae

Eucharitinae
Ancylotropus
Athairocharis
Austeucharis
Chalcura
Colocharis
Dicoelothorax
Dilocantha
Eucharis
Galearia
Hydrorhoa
Isomerala
Kapala
Latina
Lophyrocera
Mateucharis
Lophyrocera
Neolirata
Neolosbanus
Obeza
Parakapala
Pogonocharis
Pseudochalcura
Psilocharis
Rhipipalloidea
Schizaspidia
Stilbula
Stilbuloida
Thoracantha
Tricoryna
Zulucharis
Gollumiellinae
Anorasema
Gollumiella
Oraseminae
Orasema
Orasemorpha
Timioderus

Eulophidae

The Eulophidae are a large family of hymenopteran insects, with over 4,300 described species in some 300 genera.

Eulophids are separable from most other Chalcidoidea by the possession of only four tarsomeres on each leg, a small, straight protibial spur (as opposed to the larger, curved one in most other chalcidoids), and by antennae with two to four funicle segments and at most 10 antennomeres.

Entedoninae

Entedoninae is a subfamily of wasps in the family Eulophidae which includes over 90 genera. Only a few species are associated with ants.

Horismenus
Microdonophagus
Myrmokata
Pediobius

REFERENCES