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Observations of Scelio fulgidus (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) parasitism and development in southern NSW during the 2010 Chortoicetes terminifera (Orthoptera: Acrididae) locust plague

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Abstract

Scelio fulgidus (Crawford) is a widely distributed egg endoparasitoid of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker) that can cause high levels of host mortality in some locust outbreak situations. We assessed S. fulgidus parasitism from 23 locust egg bed sites in the New South Wales Riverina over a sequence of three host generations during the 2010–2011 C. terminifera plague cycle. Parasitism was locally variable but relatively high in each generation, with >90% egg parasitism during the summer 2010 host generation, exceeding previously reported data. There was evidence to support facultative diapause of up to one-third of S. fulgidus larvae in host eggs laid during March–May, with temporal change in proportions similar to diapause incidence in host eggs.

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