Microterys nietneri

Microterys nietneri (Motschulsky)

(Formerly known as Microterys flavus (Howard))

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Apocryta, Chalcidoidea, Encytridae.

Geographical distribution: North America, Southern Europe, Southern Africa, Middle East, and Australia.

Morphology: Body about 2 mm long, the females are yellow, the males are black. Their wings and antennae are marked with a pattern of black and white bands.

Life history: A female lays about 70 eggs, usually in the second instar of the hosts, which are various soft scale (Coccidae). An average of 4 eggs are placed in each host, more in large scales. The threshold of development was calculated to be at about 10ºC and 205 day-degrees are needed to complete a generation. Pupation occurs inside the body of the host; the adults live for 2-3 weeks; host feeding prolongs their lives..

Economic importance: A major natural enemy of many species of pestiferous Coccidae, such as Coccus hesperidum and Milviscutulus mangiferae. Their effect is due to parasitization and to host feeding, but may be offset by encapsulation.


Abd-Rabou, S. 2012. New records of host insects and distribution of the effective parasitoid, Microterys nietneri Motschulsky (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in Egypt. The Journal of Tropical Asian Entomology 01: 29–31

Abd-Rabou, S., Hanafi, A. and Hussein, N. 1999. Notes on the parasitoids of the soft brown scale, Coccus hesperidum (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Egypt. Entomologica 33: 179-184.

Hart, W. G. 1972. Compensatory releases of Microterys flavus as a biological control agent against brown soft scale. Environmental Entomology 1: 414-419.

Kfir, R. and Rosen, D. 1980 Biological studies of Microterys flavus (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a primary parasite of soft scales. Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 43.223-237.

Website https://www.google.co.il/search?q=microterys+flavus++image&espv=2&biw=854&bih=556&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRhbuU-PLPAhXLbhQKHTCpAKEQsAQIGQ