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Bairamlia fuscipes Waterston, a Chalcidoid Parasite on Ceratophyllus wickhami Baker (Siphonaptera)

  • Enid K. Sikes (a1)

The Chalcidoid wasp, Bairamlia fuscipes, was found parasitising the flea Ceratophyllus wickhami in the nest of the North American Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) from Gerrard's Cross.

The larval and pupal stages of B. fuscipes were found in the cocoons of C. wickhami, and the adults were crawling about in the squirrel's nest.

The parasites were scarce, only 7 per cent, of the cocoons dissected at intervals during fifteen months were parasitised.

The parasite has not been reared in the laboratory beyond the second instar larva, though full grown larvae have successfully reached maturity under experimental conditions.

B. fuscipes oviposits through the flea cocoon and fixes the egg on the abdomen of a resting larva or pupa. Only one egg has been found in each parasitised cocoon. The larva feeds externally on the flea, fixing itself to the fourth abdominal segment or thereabouts.

Attempts were made to parasitise larvae of Xenopsylla astia, but without success.

The external anatomy of the full grown larva of B. fuscipes is described.

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Balfour-Browne, F. (1922). On the life-history of Melittobia acasta Walker; a Chalcid parasite of bees and wasps. Parasitology, 14, 340–70.
Graham-Smith, G. S. (1915). Observations on the habits of parasites of common flies. Parasitology 8, 532–4.
Haviland, M. D. (1922). On the post-embryonic development of certain Chalcids, hyperparasites of Aphids, with remarks on the bionomics of Hymenopterous parasites in general. Q. J. Micr. Sci. 66 (2), 321–38.
Haviland, M. D. (1922). On the larval development of Dacnusa areolaris Nees (Braconidae), a parasite of Phytomyzinae (Diptera), with a note on certain Chalcid parasites of Phytomyzids. Parasitology, 14, 167–73.
Parker, H. L. (1924). Recherches sur les formes post-embryonnaires des Chalcidiens. Ann. Soc. Ent. France, 93, 261379.
Parker, H. L. and Thompson, W. R. (1928). Contributions à la biologic des Chalcidiens entomophages. Ann. Soc. Ent. France 97, 425–65.
Waterston, J. (1929). On a Chalcidoid parasite bred from a flea larva. Parasitology, 21, 103–6.
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  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
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