Pholetesor chiricahuensis, Whitfield, 2006

Whitfield, James B., 2006, Revision of the Nearctic species of the genus Pholetesor Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Zootaxa 1144 (1), pp. 1-94 : 39-40

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1144.1.1

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Pholetesor chiricahuensis


The bedelliae ­group

Despite their diverse appearance, I have included seven Nearctic species in this groupó P. bedelliae (Viereck) , P. chiricahuensis n.sp., P. longicoxis n. sp., P. powelli n.sp., P. thuiellae n. sp., P. variabilis n. sp., and P. viminetorum (Wesmael) —on the basis of the following shared features: 1) metanotum weakly retracted from scutellum, barely or not exposing mesothoracic postphragma; 2) propodeal areola and transverse carinae absent; 3) metasomal tergite I broad throughout to strongly narrowing posteriorly but always sculptured throughout; 4) tergite II subquadrate to transverse­subtriangular, usually strongly sculptured, slightly to much shorter than III down midline; 5) tergite III sculptured at most anteromedially, at least not with posterolateral corners rounded; 6) tergite IV unmodified, partially overlapped by III and similar in appearance to succeeding terga; 7) sternites 3–6 in female anteromedially notched or split (weakly so in P. viminetorum ); 8) hypopygium submedially weakly creased, setting off narrow, more translucent and flexible medial fold, usually produced apically; 9) ovipositor sheaths arising below midheight of valvifers; 10) volsellae of male genitalia each with 3–5 setae along medioventral edge; 11) gonobase (basal ring) of male genitalia transverse, usually not more than half as long as its width; 12) final instar larva with 1 pair of labial setae on short tubercles; 13) final instar larva with 1 seta on each maxilla; 14) cocoon is of usual white, blunt­oblong form typical of Apantelini , with irregular, fine, loose threads exteriorly, spun within host shelter, mine or on undersides of leaves or more delicate and spun within the cocoon of the host (this varies even intraspecifically depending on the host attacked); and 15) hosts are various leafmining genera of Gracillariidae , Lyonetiidae or Elachistidae , rarely leaf skeletonizers on Ericaceae or needleminers on Cupressus or Thuja . Host ranges of even individual species may be broad, both taxonomically and ecologically.

An inordinate diversity of metasomal tergites shapes, ovipositor sheath shapes, and host habitats is represented among the species in this group, but the extremes seem to all be more or less connected my intermediate characteristics. The division between the pinifoliellae ­ and bedelliae ­groups may be an artificial one phylogenetically; the distinction seems a useful tentative one for biological (host­preference) reasons, even if weakly defined morphologically. Should the metasomal sternites of female pinifoliellaegroup species prove to be anteriorly unsplit, the separation into two groups would be strengthened.

On the basis of examination of determined material in the Canadian National collection and in British collections, I would place the Palearctic P. maritimus (Wilkinson) , and perhaps several additional species here as well.













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