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Immature Stages of Coniopterygidae


          Both adults and immatures feed on small, relatively inactive prey such as coccids, mites and aphids.  They are mainly found on shrubs and trees, although some species seem to be confined to low vegetation.


          Eggs are laid singly on infested foliage.  They are oval in outline, flattened dorsoventrally, and slightly pointed at the micropylar end.  The chorion surface bears reticulate markings.  Eggs of C. hageni Banks are yellowish-pink, although some may have an orange tint (Quayle 1913).  Conwentzia psociformis lays a total of ca. 200 eggs.


          The number of larval instars was noted as 4 for C. hageni (Quayle 1913).  Larvae of this species feed on all stages of red mites, the body contents being entirely sucked out from a single puncture.  One larva consumed 226 red mites during its feeding period.  The oval, flattened cocoons of Conwentzia are usually found on the underside of leaves or on bark.  They consist of a double layer of silk with loosely woven margins.  Cocoons of Semidalis aleyrodiformis Steph. do not have a clear double layer of silk.  Withycombe (1923, 1924a) found that the pupal skin is often left within the cocoon rather than discarded after adult emergence.


          The life cycle of C. hageni is 37-43 days in summer, of which the egg, larval and cocoon stages cover 6-8, 18-22 and 13 days, respectively.  Semidalis aleyrodiformis overwinters as mature larvae within the cocoon, while a portion of the adults of the first brood of C. psociformis persist in sheltered spots until the following springtime (Clausen 1940/62).



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