Laboratory experiments have shown that larvae of ectoparasitoids Brachinus explodens Duftschmid and Brachinus crepitans (L.) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) develop on pupae of spring breeding species of the genus Amara (Coleoptera: Carabidae). In this study, we investigated the synchronization of the critical stages of host and parasitoid in the field. We simulated the development of both genera under field conditions in spring 2003, combining 1) field data (activity-density measured by pitfall traps and oviposition), 2) thermal constants for development (lower development threshold and sum of effective temperatures), and 3) meteorological data (average daily temperature at a depth of 2.5 cm). In early spring, adults of Amara oviposited in weedy areas, which provided plenty of seed with which to feed their larvae. Pupation was predicted to occur from June to early July. Brachinus adults arrived later than their hosts, and females started to oviposit when Amara larvae were just about to pupate, and Brachinus larvae hatched when Amara pupae became available. The synchronization of the critical stages of host and parasitoid observed in the field strongly supports the existence of a host-parasitoid relationship between Amara pupae and Brachinus larvae.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3