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Journal of Research in Ecology

Journal of Research in Ecology

An International Scientific Research Journal

Original Research

Does distribution of Acridomorpha is influenced by parasitoid attack? A model with Scelio aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) in the experimental farm Authors: ElSayed WM Abu ElEla SA and Eesa NM

Institution: Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza-12613-Egypt.

ABSTRACT: In a survey of the Acridomorpha assemblage in two different sampling localities I and II at an experimental farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University-ten different species had been recorded. These species were belonging to two subfamilies and representing ten tribes. Family Acrididae was found to exhibit the highest number of tribes (8 tribes and 8 species) whereas, family Pyrgomorphinae was represented by only two tribes harboring two species. The current research provides an attempt to point out the significance of Scelio aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) potential parasitoidism on natural acridomorphine populations through examining the eggpods. It was clear that only three acridomorphine species; Aiolopus thalassinus (Fabricius, 1798), Acrotylus patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838) and Pyrgomorpha conica (Olivier, 1791), were virtually attacked by the hymenopterous S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951).

Keywords: Parasitoidism, Acridomorpha, Scelio aegyptiacus, Stenophagous, presenceabsence.

Corresponding author: El-Sayed WM

Email Id:

Article Citation: ElSayed WM,Abu ElEla SA and Eesa NM Does distribution of Acridomorpha is influenced by parasitoid attack? A model with Scelio aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) in the experimental farm Journal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037 Dates: Received: 08 March 2016

Web Address: documents/EC0040.pdf

Journal of Research in Ecology An International Scientific Research Journal

Accepted: 18 March 2016

Published: 13 April 2016

This article is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/2.0), which gives permission for unrestricted use, non-commercial, distribution and reproduction in all medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

030-036 | JRE | 2016| Vol 4 | No 1

ElSayed et al., 2016 It was noted that only a single wasp develops within a

INTRODUCTION Grasshoppers and locusts are known worldwide

grasshopper egg and the Scelio adults live only a very

for the enormous damage they cause to agricultural crops

short time, usually no more than three weeks under the

and pastures, imposing untold burdens on the economy

best conditions. The sex ratio varies among species, but

of many nations. These insects can be found in various

there are usually more females than males by a

habitats, as well as the more diverse and familiar species

considerable margin (Lakin, 1994; Dysart, 1995; Baker

could be found in grasslands and forests (Peveling et al.,

et al., 1996; Dangerfield et al., 2001; Ghahari et al.,

1999; Shahpa, 2003; Abu ElEla et al., 2012). Different


Acridopmorpha species are common and abundant in

In the present study only one factor, the

Egypt and most of them complete their metamorphosis

parasitoidism of S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951), was

by the end of August without diapause (Shahpa, 2003).

taken into consideration on the probable effect on the egg

A good number of Orthoptera species are well

-pods of Acridomorpha species inhabiting two localities

documented in Egypt (Shahpa, 2003). Many studies have

in the experimental farm of the faculty of Agriculture,

been performed on Orthoptera, and in particular

Giza Governorate, Egypt.





The effects of parasitoidism were studied in

Physiology and pest control. However, from the

terms of number of egg-pods of different acridomorphine

available literature, little is known concerning Scelio

species attacked, degree, and synchronization of the

aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) potential parasitoidism on

parasitoid with the general habitats of the hosts as an

the egg-pods of the Egyptian acridomorphine species.

attempt to establish a corner stone for future importance

The first described member of Scelio was carried out by Walker (1839) from the specimens of Australia.

of S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) parasitoidism in regulating natural Acridomorpha populations in Egypt.

Dangerfield et al. (2001) have pointed out that Scelio is one of the largest genera of Scelionids with more than


225 described species. They are considered as obligate

Study site

endoparasitoids of eggs of different grasshoppers and

Regular weekly field excursions were performed

locusts (Riffat et al., 2013). It also demonstrated a

during the summer season for sampling and collecting

definite resistance to parasite survival on the part of

different acridomorphine egg-pods from two main

some host species and considerable immunity on the part

localities (I and II) located in the experimental farm at

of others, either as to attack by the parasite, or as to the

the Faculty of Agriculture, Giza, Egypt (30°.0246´ N,

establishment in the host.

31°.1925´ E) (Fig. 1). The two localities (I and II) were

Members of Family Scelionidae are considered

part of the general plane of Giza Governorate and were

as the only true parasitoids of grasshopper eggs (Ghahari

not a part of national park or protected area. The northern

et al., 2009). The North American species of Scelionidae

border of the study site was surrounded by Safet El

that develop as parasites in the eggs of grasshoppers


belong to two genera: the genus Scelio, which contains

surrounding other borders. The general topography of the

about 19 species, and the genus Synoditella, represented

experimental farm is a flat area devoid of any elevations.

by two species (Muesebeck, 1972).

Collection of egg-pods







Scelio species occur throughout the world

Locating the egg-pods in the soil is, most often, a

wherever grasshoppers are found (Ghahari et al., 2009).

lengthy and difficult task since finding pods in the soil


Journal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037

ElSayed et al., 2016

Figure. 1. Map of the Study area: (a) Map of Egypt showing Giza Governorate; (b) aerial photograph showing the study area (dotted circle); and (c) the two main sampling localities (I and II). iss so unpredictable, and it is easy to miss egg-pods

ElSayed (2006); Riffat and Wagan (2009). Pods were

(Kaltenbach, 1965; Flook and Rowell, 1998; Ghahari et

lifted using small stainless steel scoop and these pods

al., 2009). Accordingly, the egg-pods were collected

were deposited singly in labeled empty glass jam jars

from the most favored ovipositional sites of adult female

(250 ml, 6 cm Ă˜ and 11 cm deep). The openings of these

acridomorphine species where pods would be expected

jars were covered with cotton muslin by means of

from pits appeared in the ground surface that could

ordinary rubber bands before transportation to the

contain pods (Waloff, 1950; Khalifa, 1956; Chapman and

laboratory. Care was taken to keep the jars moist for

Robertson, 1958; Chapman, 1961; Shah et al., 1998;

further analysis. The pods and the eggs were carefully

Shahpa, 2003; ElShazly and ElSayed, 2006; Abu ElEla et

examined for the presence of parasitoidism. Fifty egg-

al., 2012). Thus, searches were thoroughly took place

pods, from each of the collected Acridomorpha species,

along the edges of the cultivated fields, along the lines of

were examined for the presence of parasitoids. Collected

the irrigating trenches, on yards of wild vegetations,

parasitoids were collected using fine forceps and

lower branches of shrubs and bushes. Excavations were

immediately preserved in a solution of 70% ethyl alcohol

performed using bare hands and short handle-machetes

and glycerol in an attempt to keep the collected

where soil litters were removed. These searches were

specimens in good conditions for further examination.

extended to a radius of ca. 3 meter from the main trunk

Scrutinized examinations of the collected parasitoids

of these bushes or shrubs.

were performed using binocular stereo-microscope at

The soil was scraped carefully with short-handle

magnification of 40X.

hoe in order to expose any egg-pod which might have been presented at a depth of 20-120 mm as suggested by Zafari and Qazi (1989); Shah et al. (1998); ElShazly and Journal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Our present investigation yielded 500 egg-pods 032

ElSayed et al., 2016

Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University. These species were represented by two families and 10 tribes (table 1). number of tribes (8 tribes and 8 species) whereas family

+ -

+ +


++ +-


Family Acrididae was found to exhibit the highest Pyrgomorphinae was represented by only two tribes harboring







pods in the two localities (I and II) as indicated in table

+ ++


+ -

++ ++

acridomorphine species were found to deposit their egg-

Locality of Egg-pods Cultivated area Grassland and wild with its vicinity vegetations (II) (I) ++ +-

two localities (I and II) in the experimental farm of the

(1). The egg-pods of four acridomorphine species; A. pellucida (Klug, 1830), O. gracilis (Krauss, 1902), S. carinatus (Saussure, 1888) and T. nasuta (Linnaeus, 1758),



from grassland



Nil 2

Nil Nil

Nil Nil

16 Nil


vegetations (locality II) reflecting their preference for 11

No. of Scelio aegyptiacus/ 50 egg-pods

locality II as preferred ovipositional sites (table 1). It has



least number of collected egg-pods. The egg-pods of P. conica (Olivier, 1791) was found to be abundant in locality I and completely absent in locality II as indicated in table (1). A rapid glance on table (1) is ample to show that the egg-pods of only three acridomorphine species; A. patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838), C. comprissicornis (Latreille, 1804) and H. littoralis (Rambur, 1838), were - = Absent, +- = Occasional, + = Present, ++ = Abundant

Acrida pellucid (Klug, 1830) Aiolopus thalassinus (Fabricius, 1781) Calephorus comprissicornis (Latreille, 1804) Heteracris littoralis (Rambur, 1838) Ochrilidia gracilis (Krauss, 1902) Sphingoderus carinatus (Saussure, 1888) Truxalis nasuta (Linnaeus, 1758) Chrotogonus hamalodemus (Blanchard, 1836) Pyrgomorpha conica (Olivier, 1791) Acridini Epacromiini Calephorini Euprepocnemidini Ochrilidini Sphingotini Truxalini Chrotogonini Pyrgomorphini

Acrotylus patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838) Acrotylini


Acridomorpha species

to be mentioned that these four species represented the


Table 1. Parasitoidism by Scelio aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) on different Acridomorpha species inhabiting two localities (I and II) at the experimental farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University.

belonging to 10 different Acridomorpha species in the

occasionally collected from locality II and being absent in locality I. During





belonging to one species of the parasitoid; Scelio aegyptiacus




Scelionidae), were recorded to attack the virtual eggpods of certain Acridomorpha species. The female scelionid,






stenophagous and observed to oviposit in the egg-pods predominantly those of A. thalassinus (Fabricius, 1781) (16 egg-pods were parasitoized out of 50 pods) and A. patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838) (11 egg-pods were parasitoized out of 50 pods) (table 1). However, the eggpods of C. hamalodemus (Blanchard, 1836) were


Journal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037

ElSayed et al., 2016 occasionally attacked by S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951)

pods of Hieroglyphus perpolita (Uvarov, 1033), H.

where only two egg-pods were parasitoized out of 50

oryzivorus (Carl, 1916) and H. nigrorepletus (I. Bolivar,

pods (table 1).

1912) from localities in Pakistan. Moreover, in Australia,

As shown in table (1), the egg-pods of A.

parasitism by Scelio species at certain sites has been

thallassinus (Fabricius, 1781) was found to be the most

recorded in up to 90% of the egg-pods (Maïga et al.,

dominant acridomorphine species (table 1) being


abundant in both localities (I and II). This was preceded

In accordance with our results, Prior and

by A. patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838) and C.

Greathead (1989) estimated that scelionid egg parasites

comprissicornis (Latreille, 1804).

(Scelio spp.) were the predominant cause of egg

Indeed, the egg-pods of three Acridomorpha

mortality in solitary locust populations in Africa.

species, A. pellucida (Klug, 1830), T. nasuta (Linnaeus,

However, scelionids were rather ineffective mortality

1758) and O. gracilis (Krauss, 1902), were completely

factors in the egg pods of gregarious species, such as the

devoid of S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) as indicated in

desert locust. In the study areas of Dysart (1995) in

table (1). Moreover, the egg-pods of S. carinatus

Montana and North Dakota, Scelio parasitism never

(Saussure, 1888) did not, apparently, show any sign of S.

reached such high levels. Dysart (1995) found that a

aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) as shown in table (1).

complex of four species of Scelio parasitized about 11

In general, the eggs and egg-pods of different

percent of the egg-pods.

Acridomorpa species inhabiting the experimental farm of

From prospective view, the authors offer four

the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University showed that

main points; first of all is that S. aegyptiacus (Priesner,

the rate of the parasitoidism was rather low; out of 500

1951) is non-selective in finding its host since it could

specimens examined, only three species were found to

parasitoize more than on species of Acridomorpha in the

harbour the parasitic S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951),

study site (table 1). The second point is that S.

showing the overall value of 5.8% parasidoidism. The

aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) was found to depend, to a

highest parasitoidism was confined to A. thalassinus

great extent, on the abundance of the host and in turn the

(Fabricius, 1781) (value of 32% parasitoidism).This

abundance of the hosts’ egg-pods. Thirdly, the scelonid

acridomorphine species proved to be more readily

wasp was found to avoid, completely, the graminivorous

parasitoized since it has greater ecological plasticity

species and S. carinatus (Saussure, 1888) (species

(Zafari and Qazi, 1989; Shahpa, 2003; ElShazly and

inhabiting locality I) since these species live, feed and

ElSayed, 2006). The second highest parasitoidism was

oviposit beside graminous or, presumably, spiny plant

observed in A. patruelis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1838) with a

species that persist in comparatively harsh, relatively dry

value of 22% parasitoidism while the least value of

and with different microclimatic conditions that could

parasitoidism (4%) was recorded for the chrotogonid

affect the potential reproduction and/or the progeny S.

acridid C. hamalodemus (Blanchard, 1836). This could


indicate that S. aegyptiacus (Priesner, 1951) has

hymenopterous stenophagous parasitoid may hold the

relatively narrow host range in the selected localities (I

difficulties in search and find an egg-pod as a host of

and II) in the experimental farm of the Faculty of

acridomorphine species inhabiting dense vegetation as in

Agriculture, Cairo University. This finding is in contrary

the case of H. littoralis (Rambur, 1838) from which the

with that of Riffat and Wagan (2009) since they collected

egg-pods of this species were collected from locality I.

a large number of this parasitoid species from the eggJournal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037





In the present study, the consideration of 034

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among different sampling sites within Satoyama area,

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Acridomorpha species did not imply that parasitoidism alone would regulate the abundance or the distribution of such






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Journal of Research in Ecology (2016) 4(1): 030-037

Does distribution of Acridomorpha is influenced by parasitoid attack? A model with Scelio aegyptiacu  
Does distribution of Acridomorpha is influenced by parasitoid attack? A model with Scelio aegyptiacu  

In a survey of the Acridomorpha assemblage in two different sampling localities I and II at an experimental farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Ca...