First record of Melaloncha (Diptera: Phoridae) parasitoid associated with Bombus (Apidae: Bombini) in Argentina
Mariano Lucia, Leopoldo J Alvarez and Alberto H Abrahamovich
The bumble bees (genus Bombus Latreille) are among the most efficient insect pollinators in natural and agricultural ecosystems; most species are polylectic and depend on pollen and nectar of great variety of plants (Goulson, 2003a; Abrahamovich et al., 2001). Pollinator declines have been noted in many regions of the world and are thought to be related to changes in the use of agricultural land, effects of pesticides, pathogens, and also to the effects of parasites (Goulson, 2003b;Williams, 2005; Otti and Schmid-Hempel, 2007). Bumble bees are attacked in various stages of their life cycle by a diverse range of predators, parasites and parasitoids (Goulson and Brown, 2009). The bee-killing flies, genus Melaloncha, are a group of phorids almost restricted to the Neotropics and represented by 167 described species (Brown, 2009).