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Hitchhiking Chalcidoidea
Brachista fidiae & Podagrion mantis

Brachista fidiae slide mount photo Podagrion mantis habitus illustration
Brachista fidiae (Ashmead)
from Pinto 1994
Podagrion mantis Ashmead
from Grissell & Goodpasture 1981

Females and males of Brachista spp. are known to ride on Efferia spp. (Diptera: Asilidae), although only one trichogrammatid is documented to attack asilids (Pinto, 1994). Two other trichogrammatids, Pseudoxenufens forsythi Yoshimoto and Oligoseta xiphidii Ferriere, are phoretic on Caligo eurilochus (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) (Malo 1961; Yoshimoto 1976) and Conocephalus longipenne (de Haan) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) (Ferrière 1926) respectively. The female trichogrammatids apparently attack the freshly laid eggs before they harden. At least one Podagrion sp. hitches rides with female mantids by grasping her wings with their hind legs (Bordage 1913).


Bordage, E. 1913. Notes biologiques recueillies a l’Ile de la Reunion. Bulletin Sci. France et Belgique 47: 377-412.

Ferrière, C. 1926. Un nouveau cas de phoresie: Trichogrammatides sur sauterelles. Treubia 8: 274-278.

Grissell, E. & C. Goodpasture 1981. A review of Nearctic Podagrionini,with description of sexual behavior of Podagrion mantis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 74: 226-241.

Pinto, J. 1994. A taxonomic study of Brachista (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) with a description of two new species phoretic on robberflies of the genus Efferia (Diptera: Asilidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 96(1): 120-132.

Malo, F. 1961. Phoresy on Xenufens (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), a parasite of Caligo eurilochus (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 54(3): 465-466.

Yoshimoto, C. 1976. Pseudoxenufens forsythi a new genus and species of Trichogrammatidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) from western Ecuador. Canadian Entomologist 108: 419-422.

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