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Annals of the Entomological Society of America





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Recorded cases of predation by adult Hymenoptera, and particularly cases of adult parasite host-feeding, were examined for patterns of occurrence among the major hymenopterous groups and for patterns in types of host subject to attack. The widespread occurrence of the predatory habit among adults of 20 families of the Hymenoptera provides very little evidence of the evolutionary pathways through which adult predation might have developed and been carried to later evolving groups, but suggests that the habit of predation by adults is indicative of a dietary deficiency shared by diverse members of the group. The assortment of hosts attacked suggests that the nutrients sought in host-feeding are ubiquitous substances. Examination of the mechanics and periodicity associated with the habits of host-feeding and host-mutilation by Microterys flavus (Howard), an encyrtid parasite of Coccus hesperidum L., demonstrated that (1) host mutilation was definable as frustrated host-feeding in which the host did not bleed freely, (2) host-feeding tendencies developed in individuals coincident with depletion of ovipositional capacity, (3) the habit was expressed by the parasite only after its day's supply of eggs were laid, and (4) waning fecundity was revitalized a few days after the habit was initiated. The quantity of hosts destroyed by feeding varied with host size, parasite age, and parasite species. M. flavus host-fed on species unsuitable for parasitization. After parasites had exhausted their stored reproductive nutrients, a stimulation in fecundity caused by host-feeding could be measured by an increased number of ripe ovarian eggs in host-fed individuals. Enzymatic yeast and soy hydrolyzates as food supplements to a honey diet satisfied the reproductive nutrient deficiency of the parasites equally as well as did host-feeding.

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