Aphelagathis rociofernandezae Sharkey

Sharkey, Michael J., Chapman, Eric G., Janzen, Daniel H., Hallwachs, Winnie & Smith, M. Alex, 2015, Revision of Aphelagathis (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Agathidinae, Agathidini), Zootaxa 4000 (1), pp. 73-89: 82-83

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Aphelagathis rociofernandezae Sharkey

n. sp.

Aphelagathis rociofernandezae Sharkey  n. sp.

( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8)

Diagnosis. Much like A. verticalis  but not sympatric. Distribution from Mexico south to Costa Rica, pale specimens with extensive propodeal sculpture.

Description. Body length 5.7 (6.4 female paratype). Fore wing length 4.5 (5.7 female paratype). Ovipositor length 4.1 (female paratype). Body color mostly yellow except melanic as follows: antenna including scape, apices of hind femur and tibia, and most of hind tarsomeres, apical metasomal segments darkened (metasomata of most paratypes entirely yellow, heads of most paratypes entirely yellow but several with ocellar triangle black, one specimen from Mexico and another from Costa Rica have more extensive black color on the vertex and occiput ( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8 F). One male specimen, tentatively assigned to this species, has melanic color on the propodeum ( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8 I)). 45 flagellomeres. Fore wing moderately and evenly infuscate. Propodeum mostly rugose with a median cell defined by a pair of longitudinal carinae that merge anteriorly (the pair of carinae is weaker anteriorly in most paratypes; one male specimen, tentatively assigned to this species, lacks the prominent pair of carinae and the rugae appear more randomly situated ( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8 I). Cub of hind wing barely pigmented (or not pigmented).

Host Data. A. rociofernandezae  has been reared twice from ACG pasture grass-eating caterpillars of rain forest hesperiine Hesperiidae  , Morys valerius valda Evans  ( DHJPAR 0009368) and Morys lyde (Godman)  DHJ01 ( DHJPAR 0049654). These, along with three rearings of Zamicrodus Janzen  03 (code name for the undescribed species) attacking Quasimellana sethos (Mabille)  , are the only confirmed rearings of agathidine Braconidae  encountered in a sample of 31,500 + wild-caught ACG hesperiine Hesperiidae  caterpillars during 31 years of inventory of ACG rain forest, dry forest and cloud forest, a sample that contains 3,500 + of rearing records of Tachinidae  , Ichneumonidae  , Braconidae  , Eulophidae  and other parasitoids (Janzen et al. 2009). The wasp larva exits the prepupal hesperiine larva and spins a thin glassine-silk cocoon inside the "cocoon" or pupation chamber constructed by the prepupal caterpillar by lightly silking the grass blade forming a closed tube.

Etymology. Named in honor of Sra. María del Rocío Fernández Salazar, the Directora of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, in recognition of her bravery and fortitude in accepting the challenge of the integration of the former national biodiversity collections of INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) into those of the national biodiversity collections of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, beginning 27 March 2015.

Specimens examined. Holotype ♂: Costa Rica, Alajuela, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Sector Rincon Rain Forest, Palomo, 96 m., Latitude: 10.96187, Longitude: - 85.28045, Lambert coordinates: North 326911 East 396267, 30.vii. 2012, leg. Keiner Aragon, ex. Morys lyde  Hesperiidae  , ( AEI, DHJPAR 0049654). Paratypes. Costa Rica: Guanacaste: 1 ♂, ex. Morys valerius valda  , Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Sector Pitilla, Pasmompa, 440 m., Latitude: 11.01926, Longitude: - 85.40997, Lambert coordinates: North 333308, East 382132, 1.xii. 2004, leg. Manuel Rios ( AEI, DHJPAR 0009368). 1 ♂, 10 ° 26 ’N, 85 ° 33 ’W, v. 1989 ( HIC). Heredia: 9 ♀, 10 ° 26 ’N, 84 °01’W ( INBIO, HIC (H 6179 )). Puntarenas: 1 ♀, 1 ♂, L_S_ 27800 _ 529600 ( INBIO). 1 ♂, 8 ° 36 ’N, 83 °06’W ( UAAM). Limon: 8 ♂, L_S_ 28600 _ 567500 ( INBIO, HIC (H 1207 )). Mexico: Tamaulipas: 1 ♀, 1 ♂, 16 ° 45 ’N, 94 ° 12 ’W, 7– 16.i. 1999 and 31.ii- 6.iii. 1999 ( HIC). Chiapas: Tapachula, 22 °01’N, 97 ° 48 ’W, 24.ii- 6.xi. 1972 ( AEI).

Molecular data. DHJPAR 0009368 ( ASBR 635 -06), DHJPAR 0049654 ( ASHYB 2448 - 12), H 1207 ( ATRMK 552 - 11).


National Biodiversity Institute, Costa Rica


American Entomological Institute


Hymenoptera Institute Collection, University of Kentucky


The Arthropod Museum, University of Arkansas