Pseudacteon bifidus (parasitoid)

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Pseudacteon bifidus (parasitoid) Brown and Morrison, 1999

This decapitating fly is a parasitoid of fire ants (Solenopsis geminata workers) in Texas and parts of Mexico. Its biology is similar to that of other decapitating flies. Females inject an egg into the thorax of a fire ant during successful oviposition attempts (only about one quarter of such attempts are successful). The parasitoid larva migrates to the head. Eventually the head falls off and the mature larva pupates inside the head capsule. Total development time is around 1 month. Adult parasitoids are less than 1 mm long. Females are characterised by the shape of the oviscape which has three lobes.