|scientific name Exetastes |
Open habitats (grasslands, shrublands, forest clearings, semidesert areas; Townes & Townes 1978).
Adults usually collected in the summer, some in spring and/or fall (Townes & Townes 1978).
The species of Exetastes range from 7-15 mm in length. They are mostly distinguishable by structural characteristics: The head is transverse in dorsal view, with a medium to short labium. Thorax has weak to absent sternaulus and notauli, rounded scutellum, and propodeum lacks basal carinae. Wings with areolet and a narrow stigma. Hind leg long. Ovipositor with dorsal subapical notch (Cushman 1937).
This genus consists of internal parasitoids of Lepidoptera larvae, particularly from the family Noctuidae (Cushman 1937, Townes & Townes 1978). Exetastes females lay eggs into the host's larval stage. The Exetastes larva feeds inside the caterpillar, and exits from the host pupa, destroying the host. It then pupates externally in a dense, black, elliptic cocoon (Townes & Townes 1978).
In Texas, Exetastes sp. near obscurus Cresson has been reared from the bollworm, Heliothis zea and the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (both Noctuidae; Eger et al. 1982). In Switzerland, Exetastes rufipes has been reared from Hadena compta (Noctuidae; Erhardt 1989). Another European species (Exetastes cinctipes) is a fairly well-studied parasitoid of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (Noctuidae; Buleza 1991; Slovak 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1988).
Adults of some species are frequently collected at flowers (Townes & Townes 1978).
No information available.
Larvae are parasitoids, primarily of Noctuidae larvae.
This genus is widespread, with a primarily holarctic and neotropical range (Townes & Townes 1978).
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