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HYMENOPTERA, Cleptidae (Bethyloidea)--( with Chrysididae). -<Images> & <Juveniles>





In 1940 Cleptidae was represented by the genus Cleptes, in Europe, North America and Asia (Clausen 1940/62).  Indeed, in general appearance and behavior, and undescribed species of Cleptes from Korea, bore a close resemblance to parasitic Chrysididae.  Clausen (1940) noted that several other species were reared from sawfly cocoons in various parts of the world.  


Adult female Cleptes sp. is very active, spending most of her time on the ground in search of sawfly cocoons.  When one is found, she gnaws a hole in the cocoon wall, and the extensible ovipositor is inserted by a backward thrust.  The 3-jointed ovipositor is longer than the abdomen when extended.  The egg is placed horizontally on the host body in the mid-ventral curve of the abdomen but does not adhere.  When oviposition is complete, the female smears a quantity of mucilaginous material over the hole in the cocoon wall, thereby sealing it.  This spot of hard glistening material can recognize parasitized cocoons.  The oviposition behavior is almost identical to that of Chrysis shanghaiensis Smith, which attacks cocoons of Lepidoptera (Clausen 1940/62).


The egg is subelliptical in form with the anterior end widest.  It is 1.0 mm. long and bears a button-like micropylar structure.  The 1st instar larva has 12 indistinct body segments of equal length, and the caudal end tapers to a rounded point (Clausen 1940/62).  The head is large, quadrangular and not heavily sclerotized.  It bears conspicuous antennae at the dorsal anterior corners.  The mouth is situated ventrally, and the mandibles are small and simple.  Thee are no spines or setae on the integument.  Eight pairs of spiracles are present, located at the anterior margin of the first thoracic and on the first 7 abdominal segments.  The first pair is very large, while those on the abdomen are small and inconspicuous.  The mature larva is robust, glistening white and bears 10 pairs of spiracles.  A distinct parchmentlike cocoon is spin within that of the host, and its posterior end is flattened to partition off the host remains and meconium, which are compressed into a single mass.  Egg incubation takes 4 days, and the larval period is completed in 10 days.  The host prepupa is thus killed without full pupation, and the total cycle from egg to adult is ca. 5 weeks, with several generations per year (Clausen 1940/62).


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References:   Please refer to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at:  MELVYL Library]