oa Annals of the Natal Museum - The biology and immature stages of some Sepedon snail-killing flies in Natal (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



All the immature stages of Sepedon neavei Steyskal, 1956, are descriptionbed and illustrated, as are most of the immature stages of Sepedon testacea Loew, 1862. Incubation periods, larval instar durations and puparial periods are noted for both species. A detailed descriptionption of S. neavei larval behaviour is given, with particular emphasis on modes of attack and feeding strategies, and with observations on prey preference, durations of instars on diets of different snail species, and sizes and numbers of snails killed. Physa acuta, Bulinus (Bulinus) sp., Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Lymnaea natalensis and Planorbis planorbis were offered as prey for larvae. Oviposition behaviour, eclosion and pupariation are de­scribed for S. neavei and S. testacea. Adult emergence (S. neavei), feeding, copulation behaviour (S. neavei, S. testacea and S. pleuritica), variations in preoviposition periods and fecundity (S. neavei) are also descriptionbed. A tentative explanation of seasonal population fluctuations and species packing in field collection sites is offered.

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