Choeras Mason, 1981

Fagan-Jeffries, Erinn P., Cooper, Steven J. B. & Austin, Andrew D., 2019, New species of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) documented through the ‘ Bush Blitz’ surveys of national reserves, Zootaxa 4560 (3), pp. 401-440: 403

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Choeras Mason, 1981


Choeras Mason, 1981  

Choeras Mason, 1981: 76   ; Austin & Dangerfield 1992: 18; van Achterberg 2002 (treated as a subgenus of Apanteles Foerster   ); Song et al. 2014: 502 View Cited Treatment (treated as a subgenus of Apanteles   ); Ghafouri Moghaddam et al. 2018: 457 View Cited Treatment . See Shenefelt (1973) for earlier bibliographic history of species, and Fagan-Jeffries and Austin (2018) for a review and comments on the Australasian fauna.

Type species: Apanteles (Pseudapanteles) consimilis Viereck 1911   , by original designation.

Diagnosis. Fore wing areolet absent, small or large; propodeum either with median longitudinal carina or carina absent, but never with any indication of an areola, surface smooth to coarsely rugose; T1 usually parallel-sided or narrowing posteriorly; T2 either transverse rectangular, subtriangular, broadly pentagonal or almost linear; hypopygium medio-longitudinally folded with several striae (as in Apanteles   ), degree of striations variable to the point where hypopygium has only faint lateral creases; ovipositor sheaths from about half as long as metatibia to longer.

Remarks. Choeras   is a cosmopolitan genus, with nearly 60 species described worldwide ( Yu et al. 2016; Fagan-Jeffries & Austin 2018; Ghafouri Moghaddam et al. 2018). There are currently nine species described from Australasia: C. calacte ( Nixon 1965)   , C. ceto ( Nixon 1965)   , C. dissors ( Nixon 1965)   , C. epaphus ( Nixon 1965)   , C. helespas Walker (1996)   , C. koalascatocola Fagan-Jeffries & Austin (2017)   , C. morialta Fagan-Jeffries & Austin (2017)   , C. papua ( Wilkinson 1936)   , and C. tegularis ( Szepligeti 1905)   . The genus is likely to be paraphyletic ( Williams 1988; Austin & Dangerfield 1992), with the Australian fauna forming two main clades in a recent molecular study ( Fagan-Jeffries et al. 2018b); one clade including species possessing a small, slit-like fore wing areolet, and a second clade of species with a large fore wing areolet that includes species appearing to be morphologically intermediate between Choeras   and Sathon ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). It is clear that the genus needs to be revised, however, a world-wide sampling effort and inclusion of several morphologically-related genera such as Sathon and Lathrapanteles Williams would be required for a detailed treatment that does not cause further confusion to generic boundaries in the Microgastrinae. As such, we here place species from both of the Australian molecular clades (with fore wing areolet both large and small) into Choeras   , but present detailed descriptions, images and molecular data, so that they can be more easily assessed in future studies. For the Australian fauna, we provisionally separate Choeras   and Sathon based on form of the hypopygium (sensu Austin & Dangerfield 1992), with the species that we place in Choeras   possessing a hypopygium with at least some flexibility, medial folds, or striation, whilst the species we place in Sathon has a completely inflexible hypopygium. The distribution of two of the new species of Choeras   are restricted to a single collection locality in Tasmania, whilst the third species has a broad distribution across south-western Australia ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

We here formally recognise the corrected species name Choeras ceto (Nixon)   , which was mistakenly changed to Choeras cetus   by Austin and Dangerfield (1992).












Choeras Mason, 1981

Fagan-Jeffries, Erinn P., Cooper, Steven J. B. & Austin, Andrew D. 2019


Moghaddam, M. G. & Rakhshani, E. & van Achterberg, C. & Mokhtari, A. 2018: 457
Song, S. & He, J. & Chen, X. 2014: 502
Austin, A. D. & Dangerfield, P. C. 1992: 18
Mason, W. R. M. 1981: 76