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Sarcophaga in Sarracenia

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Frank M. Jones, unpublished material


Note that adult Sarcophaga are often occupants of the pitchers, apparently escaping the leaf trap; but that they are very commonly present in the cavity of the flowers, by day and sometimes crowding into them on chilly nights. They are of suitable size to effect pollination, and I think them probably a chief pollinating agent.

Distribution 1982-1950

    • Ontario—Port Arthur
    • Maine—Jackman
    • New Jersy—Tuckerton, Whitings, Lakewood, Davenport, West Creek, Tom's River
    • Delaware—Seaford, Rehoboth
    • New York—Ithaca (McLean Bog)
    • Pennsylvania—Pocono (Halfmoon Lake/Pond)
    • South Carolina—Summerville
    • North Carolina—Hamlet, Southern Pines
    • Alabama—Theodore, Mobile, Bay Minetee
    • Florida—De Funiak, Freeport
    • Mississippi—Biloxi, Wiggins

From Sarracenia purpurea, S. rubra, S. flava, S. sledgei, and S. drummondi

Sarcophage pupation (1923 correspondence to Dr. J. M. Aldrich)

This usually takes place in the moss or sand in which the plants grow, not far from the base of the plant. The puparia often may be found there by a brief search. The winter is passed (exclusively?) in this stage. The spring brood of larvae—the food supply permitting—make rapid growth, pupation and emergence quickly following; but in the later season, when in most species of Sarracenia the pitcher contents (insect remains) become more or less dry, larval growth is slow, and the apparently mature larvae remain quiescent over long periods—even for weeks—in the extreme bottoms of the tubes. When the pitcher are in this condition–not too moist—pupation not infrequently takes place in the pitcher—much more frequently in minor (variolaris) and in rubra, than in the more open pitchers of flava, sledgei, and drummondii. I have rarely found Sarcophaga pupae in purpurea pitchers, but usually see them in the soil or moss, when I dig up the plants. A curious little hymenopterous parasite sometimes emerges from the pupae (from the southern localities). The male of this insect has short non-functional wings. All leave the pupa by one small hole, in a procession, mating taking place immediately after emergence.

Sarcophaga parasites (1915-16)

This parasite is of frequent occurrence and of interesting habits. Rates of emergence [were] from July 28 through August to September 4. The adults emerge from each infested puparium [in both minor-and flava-inhabiting insects] almost simultaneously in a scramblingly [sic] active procession, through a small hole (sometimes two holes) cut in the wall of the puparium. Emerging males (apparently in numerical minority) group themselves about this hole, and with frantic eagerness, seize the emerging females. The males have short (apparently non-functional) wings; the females well developed wings, often crippled in the ardor of contesting males. Differences in size, among different broods, may indicate the presence of more than one species with identical habits. Between thirty and forty parasites may emerge from a single puparium... Larvae overwinter in puparium of host, producing adults next summer.


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Sarcohaga sarraceniae Riley

    • 1874. Riley. Trans. S. L. Acad. Sci., III, 238.
    • 1874. Riley. Nature, X, 463
    • 1874. Riley. Am. Nat. VIII, 684.
    • 1874. Riley. Can. Ent., VI, 207.
    • 1875. Riley. Proc. Am. Assoc. Ad. Sci., XXIII, 18
    • 1878. Riley. 1st Rpt. U.S. Ent. Con., 324, il .
    • 1879. Comstock. Rpt. Cotton Ins., 205. il .
    • 1885. Riley. 4th Rpt. U. S. Ent. Com., 109.
    • " Rpt. Ent. Soc. Ont., XIII, 52.
    • 1904. Jones. Ent. News, XV, 15.
    • 1907. Needham. Rpt. State Ent. N.Y., XXIII, 209.
    • 1908. Jones. Ent. News, XIX, 155-156.
    • 1909. Smith. Rpt. Ins. N.J., 785.
    • 1912. Banks. Bur. Ent., Tech. Ser., 22, 16-17.
    • 1916. Aldrich. Sarcophaga and Allies. 86-89 il.

Sarcophaga fletcheri Aldrich

    • 1916. Aldrich, Sarcophaga and Allies, 96-98. il

S. rileyi Aldrich

    • 1916. Aldrich, Sarcophaga and Allies, 239-241. il

S. jonesi Aldrich

    • 1916. Aldrich, Sarcophaga and Allies, 241-242. il

S . celarata Aldrich

    • 1916. Aldrich, Sarcophaga and Allies, 242-243. il

S. utilis Aldrich (var.?)

    • 1915. Aldrich. Journ. E. Ent., VIII, 151.
    • 1916. Aldrich, Sarcophaga and Allies, 277, note. 

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