Larvae of Megaselia Róndani, 1856 (Diptera: Phoridae) as parasitoid of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) and its frugivory on avocado




Scuttle flies, Parasitoid-host relationship, Hawk moth, Fruit-eating habit, Persea americana


The members of the family Phoridae (Insecta: Diptera), whose adults are commonly known as scuttle fly or humpbacked fly, differ widely as to their feeding habits in the larval and adult stages. Dipteran larvae of Megaselia Róndani, 1856 (Diptera: Phoridae) vary considerably in feeding habits. The results of this study confirm the parasitic and frugivorous habits of Megaselia larvae. Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866) behaved as primary parasitoid of Isognathus caricae (L., 1758) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) larvae in confinement using cage under laboratory conditions. It is also the first time the frugivorous habit of M. scalaris larvae is recorded in ripe fruits of the avocado tree (Persea americana, Lauraceae) under field conditions.


Download data is not yet available.


Ament, D. C.; Pereira, T. P. L. (2020) Phoridae in Catálogo Taxonômico da Fauna do Brasil. PNUD. Access on: 30.vii.2020.

Berta, D. C.; Colomo, M. V.; Valverde, L.; Sueldo, M. R.; Dode, M. (2009) Aportes al conocimiento de los parasitoides de larvas de Noctuidae (Lepidoptera) en el cultivo de soja en Tucumán, Argentina. Acta Zoológica Lilloana, 53: 16-20.

Borgmeier, T. (1962) Versuch einer Uebersicht ueber die neotropischen Megaselia- Arten, sowie neue oder wenig bekannte Phoriden verschiedener Gattungen (Diptera, Phoridae). Studia Entomologica, 5: 289-488.

Brown, B. V. (2009) Manual of Central American Diptera: Volume 1. Ottawa: NRC, Research Press.

Chacón De Ulloa, P.; Rojas De Hernandez, M. (1981) Biologia y control natural de Peridroma saucia, praga de la flor de la curuba. Revista Colombiana de Entomología, 7: 47-53.

Chakraborty, A.; Naskar, A.; Parui, P.; Banerjee, D. (2016) Developmental variation of Indian thermophilic variety of scuttle fly Megaselia (Megaselia) scalaris (Loew, 1866) (Diptera: Phoridae) on different substrates. Scientifica, article ID 4257081: 1-9. doi: 10.1155/2016/4257081

Disney, R. H. L. (1990) Some myths and the reality of scuttle fly biology. Antenna, 14(2): 64-67.

Disney, R. H. L. (1994) Scuttle Flies: The Phoridae. London: Chapman & Hall.

Disney, R. H. L. (2008) Natural history of the scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris. Annual Review of Entomology, 53: 39-60. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ento.53.103106.093415

Disney, R. H. L.; Taylor, S. J.; Slay, M. E. (2010) Review of the scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) recorded from caves in the USA, with new records from Arkansas and Missouri. Subterranean Biology, 7: 75-96. doi: 10.3897/subtbiol.8.1233

Lee, H. S.; Disney, R. H. L. (2004) A new species of Megaselia (Diptera: Phoridae) attacking a wasp and a bee (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Eumeninae and Megachilidae) in South Korea. Fragmenta Faunistica, 47(1): 81-87. doi: 10.3161/00159301FF2004.47.1.081

Miranda, F. C. (2019) Lepidoptera brasilienses – Lepidopterofauna Neotropical. Access on: 8.iii.2019.

Nava, D. E.; Parra, J. R. P.; Bento, J. M. S.; Diez-Rodriguez, G. I.; Haddad, M. L. (2006) Distribuição vertical, danos e controle cultural de Stenoma catenifer Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) em pomar de abacate. Neotropical Entomology, 35(4): 516-522. doi: 10.1590/S1519-566X2006000400015

Owens, D.; Nuessly, G. S.; Beiriger, R.; Larsen, N. (2016) Cob flies, Megaselia spp. (Diptera: Phoridae), in sweet corn. Gainesville: University of Florida/IFAS Extension, 1-5, ENY-754. Access on: 08.iii.2019

Pape T.; Thompson F. C. (2020) Systema Dipterorum (version 2.0, Jan 2011). In: Roskov Y.; Ower G.; Orrell T.; Nicolson D.; Bailly N.; Kirk P. M.; Bourgoin T.; DeWalt R. E.; Decock W.; Nieukerken E. van; Penev L. (Eds), Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life - Digital resource. Access on: 31.vii.2020

Reis, P. R.; Souza, J. C. (1982) Pragas do abacateiro. Informe Agropecuário, 8: 77-79.

Ruíz-Nájera, R. E.; Molina-Ochoa, J.; Carpenter, J. E.; Espinosa-Moreno, J. A.; Ruíz-Nájera, J. A.; Lezama-Gutiérrez, R.; Foster, J. E. (2007) Survey for hymenopteran and dipteran parasitoids of the fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology, 24(1): 35-42. doi: 10.3954/1523-5475-24.1.35

Souza, T. S.; Aguiar-Menezes, E. L.; Resende, A. L. S.; Pereira, T. P. L.; Gazal, V. S. (2019) Megaselia Rondani (Diptera: Phoridae) larvae as a Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) parasitoid. Arquivos do Instituto Biológico, 86: 1-3, e0812018. doi: 10.1590/1808-1657000812018

Tefera, T. (2004) Lepidopterous stem borers of sorghum and their natural enemies in eastern Ethiopia. Tropical Science, 44: 128-130. doi: 10.1002/ts.153

Varney, R. L.; Noor, M. A. (2010) The scuttle fly. Current Biology, 20(11): R466–R467. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.043

Zucchi, R. A.; Silva, R. A.; Deus, E. G. (2011) Espécies de Anastrepha e seus hospedeiros na Amazônia brasileira. In: Silva, R. A.; Lemos, W. P.; Zucchi, R. A. (Eds.), Moscas-das-frutas na Amazônia brasileira: diversidade, hospedeiros e inimigos naturais, pp. 51-70. Macapá: Embrapa Amapá.




How to Cite

Souza, T. S., Fernandes, V. J., Aguiar-Menezes, E. L., Resende, A. L. S., Pereira, T. P. L., Gazal, V. S., & Menezes, E. B. (2020). Larvae of Megaselia Róndani, 1856 (Diptera: Phoridae) as parasitoid of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) and its frugivory on avocado. Entomological Communications, 2, ec02020.



Scientific Note