n African Entomology - Host, host location and aggressive behaviour in a tropical wood-borer parasitoid genus Quicke (Hymenoptera : Braconidae), parasitoids of Lymexylidae (Coleoptera) in Kibale Forest National Park, West Uganda




Members of the braconid wasp genus Quicke are common in the moist montane forest at Kibale and are consistently associated with dead tree trunks or boughs, usually lacking bark, that have been attacked by larvae of the lymexylid beetle genus Palisot de Beauvois. 28S D2-D3rDNA sequence data were used to confirm that a parasitoid pupa found in a lymexylid boring with host remains was indeed that of a species. Internal transcribed spacer sequences were obtained from twenty-nine individuals and showed that typically members of more than one species were present on a given tree apparently competing for the same hosts. Aggressive encounters including fighting between females of this genus are described. Fighting was only observed between conspecific females of virtually identical size. When individuals of obviously different size (and perhaps species) were involved in encounters, the larger individual always kept or obtained access to the host boring apparently signalling size through display behaviours.


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