oa African Entomology - Afrotropical robber fly (Diptera: Asilidae) predation of honey bees, Apis mellitera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae)



Information regarding predation of honey bees by Afrotropical Asilidae is presented. Apidae constitute the fifth most common insect family preyed on by asilids. Eighty three prey records from eight African countries are analysed. The importance of predator size in the selection of honey bee prey is examined. Asilids with a bulk index (length x depth in millimetres) of less than 90 did not prey on honey bees. Fourteen genera in four subfamilies, Apocleinae, Dasypogoninae, Laphriinae and Stenopogoninae, are recorded as apivorous. Possible reasons are given why no members of the six remaining subfamilies have been recorded. The survey indicates that asilids are more deleterious to apiarists than previously suspected.


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