Minanga patriciamadrigalae Sharkey

Sharkey, Michael J., enteado-Dias, Angelica Maria, Smith, M. Alex, Winnie Hallwachs, & Janzen, Daniel, 2019, Synopsis of New World Sigalphinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) with the description of two new species and a key to genera, Journal of Hymenoptera Research 68, pp. 1-11: 1

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Minanga patriciamadrigalae Sharkey


Minanga patriciamadrigalae Sharkey  sp.n. Figs 2 A–F, 3B

Diagnosis (male and female).

Similar to M. achterbergi  but easily separated with the following character states and those in the key. Anterolateral areas of metasomal carapace: smooth in M. achterbergi  , rugose in M. patriciamadrigalae  . Medial longitudinal carinae of propodeum: absent in M. achterbergi  , present in M. patriciamadrigalae  . Number of depressions in scutellar sulcus: two in M. achterbergi  , four in M. patriciamadrigalae  . Medial longitudinal carinae of T2: absent in M. achterbergi  , present in M. patriciamadrigalae  . Body length: 5.2 mm. M. achterbergi  , 7.5 mm. M. patriciamadrigalae  . Metapleuron color: orange in M. achterbergi  , melanic in M. patriciamadrigalae  .


There are hundreds of species of thin "green twig" species of Geometridae  in Area de Conservación Guanacaste ( Janzen and Hallwachs 2016), and the host of M. patriciamadrigalae  (15-SRNP-70988-DHJ727460.jpg) is one of them. As is the case with many of this life form of geometrid caterpillar, its cocoon is merely a flap of lightly-silked green leaf; the larva of M. patriciamadrigalae  emerges from the prepupal caterpillar in this flimsy cocoon and spins its own rust-colored ovoid tough cocoon inside the geometrid’s cocoon (Fig. 3B). The duration of the wasp cocoon in its rain forest habitat is about 15 days. The host Chloropteryx  nordicariaDHJ01 feeds on just one species of herbaceous vine Asclepiadaceae  ( Blepharodendron mucronatum  ). There have been 7 rearings of wild-caught caterpillars over two years, 2 of which had been parasitized. What have been identified as Chloropteryx nordicaria  (Schaus, 1901), based on their very similar morphological appearance, are in fact two species as demonstrated by their very different DNA barcodes; Chloropteryx  nordicariaDHJ02 has only been taken with light traps in the same forest and to date the caterpillar has not been located.

Since adults of both species of " Chloropteryx nordicaria  " occur in ACG early secondary succession, moist rain forest at mid-elevations, year-round, it is not surprising that the caterpillars have been found in May, July and October. Both species are probably multivoltine, as are likely their parasitoids as well.


Minanga patriciamadrigalae  is named for Sra. Patricia Madrigal Cordero, Vice-Ministra of the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE) of Costa Rica, in recognition of her facilitation of the mutualism between Area de Conservación Guanacaste of MINAE and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) in 2019-2020.

Material Examined.

Holotype male, Costa Rica, Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Guanacaste, Sector Pitilla, Coneja, 415 m., latitude: 11.01525, longitude: -85.3977, Dinia Martinez, reared from a caterpillar of Chloropteryx  nordicariaDHJ01 ( Geometridae  ) (Fig. 3A) feeding on Blepharodon mucronatum  ( Asclepiadaceae  ), host collection date = 14.vii.2016, host prepupal on 07/19/2016, parasitoid eclosion date = 9.viii.2016, parasitoid voucher = DHJPAR0059699, from deceased caterpillar voucher 16-SRNP-71035 ( EMUS). Paratype female, same data as holotype except: eclosion date is 08/09/2016 and caterpillar was prepupal on 22.vii.2016, parasitoid voucher = DHJPAR0059700, from caterpillar voucher 16-SRNP-71036 (HIC).