The five immature stages of Megamelus scutellaris Berg (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) are described and illustrated. The main characters that distinguish the various stages are body size, number of tarsomeres and tibial spines, color, and number of teeth on the metatibial spur. New biological data based on laboratory rearing and field observations show that M. scutellaris can carry out its biological cycle successfully on water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms Laubach (Pontederiaceae). Mating occurs close to the water level and one to four eggs per scar are laid in apical portion of petiole and pseudolaminae. Ovipositional scars are recognized by three parallel marks. In addition, the efficient rearing in captivity, the high survivorship registered, and overwintering on only water hyacinth suggest M. scutellaris as a potential biocontrol agent of this invasive aquatic weed.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1