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Psyche
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 170483, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/170483
Research Article

Effect of Habitat Type on Parasitism of Ectatomma ruidum by Eucharitid Wasps

1Departamento de Biología, Universidad del Valle, Calle 13 No. 100-00 Cali, Valle, Colombia
2Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Apartado Aéreo 7495, Bogotá, Colombia
3El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Entomología Tropical, Avenida Centenario km 5.5, 77014 Chetumal, QROO, Mexico

Received 26 August 2011; Accepted 23 October 2011

Academic Editor: Volker Witte

Copyright © 2012 Aymer Andrés Vásquez-Ordóñez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Eucharitidae are parasitoids that use immature stages of ants for their development. Kapala Cameron is the genus most frequently collected in the Neotropics, but little is known about the biology and behavior of any of the species of this genus. We aimed to evaluate the effect of habitat type on eucharitid parasitism and to contribute to the knowledge of the host-parasite relationship between Kapala sp. and the poneromorph ant Ectatomma ruidum (Roger) in Colombia. Twenty E. ruidum colonies were extracted from two different habitat types (woodland and grassland), and larvae and cocoons (pupae) were examined in search for parasitoids in different stages of development. Globally, 60% of the colonies were parasitized, with 1.3% of larvae and 4% of pupae parasitized. Planidia (first-instar larvae), pupae, and adults of the parasitoid were observed. All of the pupae and adult parasitoids belonged to Kapala iridicolor Cameron. All the colonies collected in the woodlands were parasitized and contained more parasitized larvae (2%) and parasitized cocoons (8%) than those collected in grasslands (4/12 parasitized colonies, 0.5% parasitized larvae, 0.8% parasitized cocoons). The relationship observed between habitat type and parasitism prevalence is a novel aspect of the study of eucharitid impact on ant host populations.