, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 349–355 | Cite as

Aerial dispersal ofScelio fulgidus [Hym.: Scelionidae], parasite of eggs of locusts and grasshoppers [Ort.: Acrididae]

  • R. A. Farrow


Scelio fulgidusCrawford, a hymenopterous parasite of eggs ofAcrididae, was discovered in samples of the aerial fauna, collected at 100–300 m altitude over grassland at a site in central western New South Wales at 2 sampling periods in October/November 1979. The parasite was recorded throughout the day in conditions of convective uplift suggesting that extensive diurnal dispersal occurred on the prevailing wind at distances varying from 100 to 300 km per day. Take-off at dusk of its major host, the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminiferaWalker), was observed in one period and direct aerial sampling at 100–300 m altitude subsequently confirmed the presence of this locust in the upper airflow at night. The mean wind vector did not differ greatly between day or night during this sampling period, suggesting that parasite and host were dispersed independently over the same general area by prevailing winds. Aerial dispersal provides a new explanation of the parasitism byScelio of egg beds of immigrant swarms of the plague locust in areas where hosts were previously absent.


Plant Pathology Sampling Period Plague Prevailing Wind General Area 


Scelio fulgidusCrawford, hymenoptère parasite des œufs d'acridients, a été observé parmi les exemplaires de la faune aerienne collectés entre 100 et 300 m d'altitude au-dessus d'une prairie du centre ouest de New South Wales (Australie), au cours de 2 périodes d'études en Octobre et Novembre 1979. Le parasite était pris tout au long de la journée dans les conditions atmosphériques des mouvements d'air ascendants de convection thermique suggèrant que le vent dominant provoque une dispersion étendue de cet insecte sur des distances quotidiennes de 100 à 300 kms. L'envol crepusculaire de l'hôte principal deS. fulgidus, le criquet australien,Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker), fut observé au cours de l'une des périodes d'études et les captures en altitude entre 100 et 300 m ont confirmé la présence nocturne de cet hôte dans les mouvements d'air d'altitude. Le vent ayant peu différé en moyenne, entre le jour et la nuit, il semble donc que, au cours de cette étude, le parasite et son hôte aient été dispersés indépendamment, au-dessus de la même région, par les vents dominants. La dispersion aérienne fournit une explication nouvelle au parasitisme parScelio des œufs pondus par les criquets, lors de leurs déplacements par vol, dans des régions dont ils étaient précédemment absents.


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Copyright information

© Balthazar Publications 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Farrow
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of EntomologyCSIROCanberra CityAustralia

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