Get access

Within-plant vertical distributions of the scale insect Nipponaclerda biwakoensis and its five parasitoids that exhibit frequent successful multiparasitism on the common reed


Shuji Kaneko, Shizuoka Prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station, 678-1 Tomigaoka, Toyoda-cho, Shizuoka, 438-0803 Japan. Email:


Within-shoot vertical distributions of the scale insect Nipponaclerda biwakoensis, five species of gregarious parasitoid wasps attacking the scale, and successful multiparasitism (emergence of multiple parasitoid species from a single host) by the parasitoids on the common reed were investigated. Each reed shoot collected was longer than 2.0 m, and was divided into pieces of 0.5 m each from the base of the shoot. The mean number of adult female scales per 0.5 m of shoot increased with height, but the mean rate of overall parasitism of the female scales decreased with height. The five parasitoids showed species-specific within-shoot distribution patterns, with respect to the rate of parasitism: Astymachus japonicus, Boucekiella depressa and Encyrtidae sp. 2 showed the greatest rates of parasitism at heights of 0–0.5, 0.5–1.0 and 1.0–1.5 m, respectively. The parasitism rate by Aprostocetus sp. was higher at the lower half of the shoots, whereas that by Encyrtidae sp. 1 was higher at the central positions. The distribution of the five parasitoids largely overlapped with each other at the level of scale aggregations. Nevertheless, successful multiparasitism occurred frequently only in several types of species combinations that involved two parasitoid species showing similar within-shoot distribution patterns. The rate of successful multiparasitism by B. depressa with A. japonicus or Aprostocetus sp., and that by Encyrtidae sp. 2 with Encyrtidae sp. 1 was constantly high at different vertical positions on the shoots. This may be because B. depressa and Encyrtidae sp. 2 preferentially oviposit into scales previously parasitized by these other species.