The genus Dacus of the family Trypetidae is abundantly represented in the Republic of South Africa and includes certain economically important species, generally known as Pumpkin flies. Although the Pumpkin flies cause as much damage to the fruit of edible cucurbits as the Fruit flies do to deciduous fruit, they have in the past received very little attention. Most probably the reason for this is the fact that the various edible cucurbits are of far less economic prominence than deciduous fruit.
The following notes comprise a fifth instalment to those published in previous issues of this journal (Taylor, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1957), and, in some cases, are supplementary to them, additional data concerning several species having been obtained since the earlier parts were compiled. In such cases the appropriate references to previous parts are given in brackets; 58 species in all are dealt with below in varying detail.
The author visited Pietermaritzburg in January, 1959, in order to investigate the heavy infestation of the Seychelles scale, Icerya seychellarum (Westw.), on the Australian chestnut tree, Castanospermum australe Cunn. (Leguminosae), in the centre of the city. Dead and dying trees were found but this was not necessarily due to the scale infestation. Many other trees although heavily infested were perfectly healthy. The Parks Department in Pietermaritzburg was very concerned about the infestation and contemplated spraying the trees, but biological control of the pest was considered to be desirable.
In a previous article (Munting, 1965) a start was made in improving our knowledge of the rich armoured scale il15ect fauna of the Republic and a continuation of this study is here presented. This study deals with twenty-seven diaspidines of which nine are new, eight are redescriptionbed, three are recorded for the first time from this country, notes and collection data are given for five little known species, a new combination, new synonym and a key for separating the South African species of Aonidia Targioni are also presented.
The species of Encyrtidae descriptionbed below have been collected from various South African localities by rearing from identified host insects. Of especial interest are the two species of Ooencyrtus Ashmead, parasitic in the eggs of epilachniine Coccinellidae, and the species of Neocladia Perkins, reared from the nymphs of a jassid near Pretoria. The striking and distinctive new species of Microterys Thomson and Metaphycus Mercet were obtained as parasitoids of two species of lecaniine coccoids.
Since little appears to have been placed on record concerning the life-history of this fine Hawk Moth, these notes may help to fill, to some extent, the apparent gap in its study in this respect. The early stages were well known to Mr E. E. Platt of Durban, who reared the moth and took some good photographs of the larva, pupa and imago, but only after the publication of his ""List of food-plants of some South African Lepidopterous larvae"" (1921); the food plants used were Uvaria caffra E. Mey and Annona muricata L. (Annonaceae).
The majority of the material discussed here is from South Africa, collected mainly by B. R. and P. Stuckenberg but also in part by the author during a short visit in January, 1964. A few older specimens collected by R. E. Turner in South Africa and South West Africa between 1923 and 1938 have been studied. Some interesting material is also considered from Rhodesia collected by the author in early February, 1964 and two species have been descriptionbed from Kenya and the Cape Verde Islands. A total of 21 new species are descriptionbed.
The false codling moth, Argyroploce leucotreta Meyr., is a pest of citrus in South Africa (Hepburn & Bishop, 1954). This is due to both the direct losses of fruit caused by the insect and the nuisance value of even a relatively small precentage of infestation by this pest in handling fruit in packhouses and in subsequent spoilage in packed cases containing occasional infested fruits.