Associations of mutillid wasps (Hymenoptera, Mutillidae) with eusocial insects
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The larvae of mutillid wasps are parasitoids of insect host stages which are not actively feeding and are enclosed in some sort of package (cell, cocoon, puparium). The literature dealing with mutillids living in association with eusocial insects is surveyed and evaluated, and some new host records are provided. Relatively few mutillid species are involved despite the potential for prolific reproduction on social hosts. The problems faced by such parasitoids are greater than those encountered when using solitary hosts. Several species of mutillids parasitise social halictine bees, a few parasitise bumble bees and a few occasionally attack honey bees; a few are parasitoids of commensals or symbionts of ants. Their possible occurrence in the nests of other eusocial insects is briefly discussed.
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