Predation of Thereva nobilitata (Fabricius) (Diptera: Therevidae) on Agriotes obscurus L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae).

van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., Cronin, E.M.L., and Gaimari, S.D. (2015). "Predation of Thereva nobilitata (Fabricius) (Diptera: Therevidae) on Agriotes obscurus L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae).", Journal of Applied Entomology, 139(1-2), pp. 154-157. doi : 10.1111/jen.12162  Access to full text

Abstract

Little is known about the natural enemies of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae), but there are frequent anecdotal reports of (usually unnamed) stiletto fly larvae (Diptera: Therevidae) preying on various species. We observed larvae of Thereva nobilitata (Fabricius) feeding on larvae of the dusky wireworm, Agriotes obscurus L., during the summer of 2011, in Agassiz, British Columbia. This finding is of interest as: both the predator and the wireworm are introduced species to this area from Europe; T. nobilitata is uncommon in North America; and this predator has not been associated with any wireworm species previously. We observed that larvae of male and female T. nobilitata will feed on various sizes of A. obscurus larvae, most feeding being carried out by the smallest T. nobilitata larvae. These findings suggest future work should assess the potential for therevid larvae as top-down regulators of Agriotes larvae under field conditions.

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