Stomorhina lunata female
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|Stomorhina lunata (Fabricius, 1805)|
Stomorhina lunata is a very common small diptera (5-7mm)in Crete. It is a fly of family Calliphoridae which it is often misidentified because of the unusual band pattern in the abdomen, typical of hoverflies. It has long been recognized as an important egg-predator of locusts in many parts of Africa, but there has been little work on its biology or itals importance in the natural control of locusts. Field work on S. lunata as an egg-predator of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskål (Orthoptera: Acrididae), was carried out in eastern Africa. We dont know its biology in Crete. We assume that the egg pods of local locusts and grasshopers consist its host.
The method of feeding by the larvae is such that an infested locust egg-pod is usually wholly prevented from hatching. Quantitative data show that superpredation is rare; that the distribution of infested egg-pods within an egg-field is affected by the grouping of the egg-pods; and that differences of topography, soil and vegetation usually have little effect on the degree of predation. The time at which an egg-field is laid during the course of a locust infestation affects the degree of infestation by S. lunata.
Observations on S. lunata caged in the field showed that pollen and sugar solution are essential for the survival of adults and for the maturation of females. Here it is feeding on pollen of Oxalis per caprae.
There is little mortality among eggs and larvae of S. lunata, but pupae are parasited by Dirhinus excavatus Dalman (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) and an aleocharine (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), and emerging adults are preyed upon by birds to a considerable extent.
There is sex dimorphism. The abdomen of female has not yellow ribbons (see the picture). I posted a male in WS.
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