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Identity? - Perilampus

Identity? - Perilampus
Revis Hill Prairie, Mason County, Illinois, USA
June 6, 2003
Size: Length ca. 0.3mm
During the course of doing genitalia dissections, I have found this animal a number of times, in association with the abdomens of a couple of species of prairie microlepidoptera (one a tortricid, the other a gelechiid), both of which feed as larvae on the above-ground parts of leadplant, Amorpha canescens (Fabaceae); the date given above is the date on which one of these moths was collected. I do not recall ever seeing this creature in dissections that I have done of any other spp. of microleps. All of the moths that had this creature associated with them are female, which might suggest that the animal attaches to the moth while the latter is ovipositing. My initial guess would be that it is some sort of triungulin larva, but those generally have true legs, and I do not know of any of them that are associated with micro-moths; perhaps the creature feeds on leadplant, and its appearance on leadplant-associated moths is merely coincidental (seems doubtful, as the morphological modifications of this animal look to be those of a parasite). At any rate, I am curious to know what this is, and what it does. Thanks in advance for any information.

Moved from Chalcid Wasps.

Moved from ID Request.

Perilampus larva
Thanks to James Amrine, via Natalie Hernandez, for providing an ID of chalcidoid planidium larva, possibly a perilampid. It is reasonably similar to Fig. 2a-b here.

Also, perilampid expert Dr. Chris Darling has informed me:

"The reason you have found them in the adult moths is that these were doomed because the host was not parasitized by a primary parasitoid, most likely an ichneumonid or tachinid. This species of Perilampus is an obligate indirect hyperparasitoid -- unless the caterpillar is parasitized, which occurs after the planidia infest the caterpillars, they simply die and are carried forward during the development of the moth."

So, apparently, this can be moved to Perilampus.

Can you post any more images?
If you could get close up on the head and the ventral hooks that would help. My professor and I would love to figure out what this is.

Could it be
Strepsiptera - an early instar?

Thanks for your response. That was my first thought, too.

Could be.
Dan Young is my PI, and he says he can't say more without a better close up of the head and ventral hooks.

Thanks for your interest and response. The image above represents about the upper resolution limit of my setup, but I should be able to conscript a better one and produce a higher-quality image of the structures in question.

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