Stylogaster

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Stylogaster
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Conopidae
Subfamily: Stylogastrinae
Genus: Stylogaster
Macquart, 1835
Species

many

The conopid genus Stylogaster is a group of unusual flies. It is the only genus in the subfamily Stylogastrinae, which some authorities have historically treated as a separate family Stylogastridae (or Stylogasteridae).

Biology[edit]

Stylogastrines are obligate associates of Cockroaches, Orthoptera, some Diptera and ants.[1][2]

These flies typically use army ants' raiding columns to flush out their prey, ground-dwelling Orthoptera and/or roaches. Stylogastrines are somewhat atypical for conopids, in that the egg itself is shaped somewhat like a harpoon, with a rigid barbed tip, and the egg is forcibly jabbed into the host. The female of some species waits for army ants to flush out a target, then she dives in and jabs an egg into the host. The Stylogaster larvae then develop as endoparasitoids. This is a remarkably high-risk behavior, in that many hosts are captured and killed by the ants after a female has laid an egg in it, so many eggs are lost.

Adults can occasionally be found at flowers, feeding on nectar with their proboscis, which is longer than the body when unfolded. The female's abdomen is also folded under the body, and is the derivation of the generic name (Stylogaster = "needle-tail").

Distribution[edit]

Stylogastrines can be found from the Neotropics to Canada, South America, Africa south of the Sahara, and parts of Southern Asia, including the Philippines and New Guinea.[1]

Selected species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Couri, Marcia S.; Pont, Adrian C. (2006). "Eggs of Stylogaster Macquart (Diptera: Conopidae) on Madagascan muscids (Diptera: Muscidae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the California Academy of Science. 4 (California Academy of Sciences) 57 (16): 473–478. 
  2. ^ Couri, M.S., Pont, A.C. & Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. 2013. New Muscidae (Diptera) hosts of Stylogaster Macquart (Diptera: Conopidae) from the Afrotropical Region. African Invertebrates 54 (2): 401–408.[1]
  3. ^ a b Camras, Sydney; Parrillo, Philip P. (1996). "New Stylogaster and ranges of Conopidae (Diptera) from the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazonia" (PDF). Acta Amazonica (Manaus, Brasil: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia) 25 (3/4): 221–234. ISSN 0044-5967. 

Stuke, J.-H. 2012. A revision of Afrotropical species of Stylogaster Macquart (Diptera: Conopidae), with descriptions of twenty-one new species and an identification key. African Invertebrates 53 (1): 267-354. [2]

External links[edit]