Pholetesor rhygoplitoides, Whitfield, 2006

Whitfield, James B., 2006, Revision of the Nearctic species of the genus Pholetesor Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Zootaxa 1144 (1), pp. 1-94 : 37-39

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1144.1.1

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scientific name

Pholetesor rhygoplitoides

new species

Pholetesor rhygoplitoides , new species

( figs. 22 View FIGURES 22–26 , 45 View FIGURES 39–59 , 65 View FIGURES 60–71. 60–62 )

Holotype female. Body length 2.2 mm, forewing length 2.4 mm.

Head. Frons 1.3x broader at midheight than long down midline, fine irregularity of surface partly confusing punctation pattern; inner margins of eyes weakly converging towards clypeus. Antennae approximately same length as forewing, dark brown throughout; all but apical 5 flagellomeres with 2 ranks of placodes; flagellomere 2 3.5x longer than broad; flagellomere 14 7x longer than broad. Palpi light yellow­orange throughout. Head in dorsal view 2x broader than long down midline.

Mesosoma . Mesoscutum distinctly punctate, more closely so anteriorly than posteriorly; interstices with only faint metallic sheen; mesoscutal width just anterior to tegulae 0.9x that of head. Scutoscutellar scrobe broad, composed of 8–10 coarse punctures, nearly straight medially. Scutellar disc virtually impunctate, peripherally weakly punctate, apparently with very weak longitudinal microsculpturing; disc slightly longer than maximum breadth. Metanotum nearly appressed anteriorly to scutellum, not strongly excavated mesad sublateral setiferous lobes; anterolateral regions irregularly rugulose; with transverse depressions at midlength on either side, crossed by several irregular carinulae. Metapleuron centrally smooth around spiracle, otherwise coarsely punctate, hairy. Propodeum anteriorly punctulorugose, posteriorly depressed and very coarsely rugose; rugosity extending further to anterior medially; propodeum 1.8x broader than maximum length.

Legs. Coxae of all legs dark brown to black, especially proximally; otherwise, legs strongly honey­orange with apices of hind tibiae, tarsi and femoral bases slightly infuscate. Spines on outer faces of hind tibiae 20–25 in number, sometimes difficult to distinguish from normal hairs. Apical spurs of hind tibiae subequal in length, yelloworange, slightly over a third as long as hind basitarsus.

Wings. Tegulae moderately dark brown, translucent. Forewings narrow, tinted pale brownish with deep brown venation, especially along anterior edge (stigma, R1, 2r, 1Rs); 2r arched, slightly longer than 1Rs, meetings 1Rs at sharp 125­degree junction; R1 1.2x as long as stigma, 3.5x as long as distance from its distal tip to end of 3Rs fold along wing edge; stigma 2.3x longer than broad. Hindwing with vannal lobe distinctly flattened, vannal fringe continuous but somewhat sparser over distal half. Cu+cu­a strongly reclivous.

Metasoma. Tergite I approximately as long as posteriorly broad, 1.3x as broad posteriorly as anteriorly; lateral margins evenly diverging over most of length, than rounded over apical 0.4; posterior margin slightly concave medially; surface coarsely aciculorugose, with small, shallow anteromedial smoother depression. Tergite II strongly quadrate, 2.1x broader than long, aciculorugose, bounded posteriorly by irregularly crenulate furrow. Tergite III aciculorugose over most of surface. posteriorly (especially posterolaterally) with thin unsculptured edge which is lighter in color; entire tergum subequal in length with tergite II, sculptured portion 0.6 (laterally) to 0.8 (medially) as long as tergite II. Laterotergites light to medium yellow­brown, nearly hidden in dorsal view by broad tergites. Succeeding terga normal, unsculptured, overlapping, mostly telescoped under anterior 3. Hypopygium subequal in length with hind basitarsus, acuminate apically, submedially weakly creased, setting off narrow, more translucent medial fold. Ovipositor sheaths virtually same length as either hypopygium or hind basitarsi, proximally slender weakly decurved, distal 0.7 hairy, strongly broadened and flattened, dorsally more strongly rounded; tip bluntly rounded, asymmetrical. Ovipositor evenly decurved.

Males. The single available male from Arizona is much lighter in leg, antennal and tegula color than more northern females. Wing venation similar to some of female paratypes but 2r much shorter than in holotype (shorter than 1Rs) and not arched. Antennae longer than in females, 1.3x as long as forewing, strongly tapering towards tip; all flagellomeres apparently with 2 ranks of placodes. Length/width of flagellomere 2 = 3.2, of flagellomere 14 = 2.4. Forewing length 2.5 mm, body length 2.2 mm.

Variation. Body length 2.0– 2.4 mm; forewing length 2.1–2.7 mm. The most noticeable variation occurs in antennal coloration and the relative lengths of 2r and 1Rs in the forewing. In several specimens, the basal segments of the antennae are light yellow, becoming gradually darker distally. 2r and 1Rs always seem to meet at a sharp angle, but 2r varies from being arched and longer than 1Rs (as in the holotype) to being considerably shorter and straight (as in figure 31 View FIGURES 27–32 ). I have associated the western specimens with the eastern despite the apparent disjunction; I see no morphological evidence to support their separation.

Final instar larva. Unknown.

Cocoons. Unknown.

Material examined. Holotype female: IDAHO. Valley Co., Donally , 23­VIII­1952 (S.E.Knapp) . Paratypes: ARIZONA. Portal, SW Research Sta., 1 male, 2­VIII­1955, 5400' ( R. R. Dreisbach) . IDAHO. Valley Co., Donally, 1 female, 23­VIII­1952 (S.E. Knapp) . MINNESOTA. Lyon Co., Camden State Pk., 1 female, 23­VII­1974, malaise trap (no collector given) . ONTARIO. Mer Bleue, 1 female, 19­VII­1963 (J.G. Chilcott) . QUEBEC. Chimo, 1 female, 17­18­VIII­1959 (W. R. Mason) .

Holotype in USNM collection; paratypes in USNM, CNC, University of Minnesota and Michigan State University Collections.

Hosts. Unknown.

Comments. The form of the ovipositor sheaths and the propodeal sculpturing best distinguish this species within the pinifollielae ­group. The geographic and habitat ranges appear to be quite broad, judging from the collection localities. The specific epithet refers to the superficial similarity to members of Rhygoplitis , which tend to have narrow wings, sharply angled 2r and 1Rs and (sometimes) broad, strongly sculptured anterior metasomal tergites, as in this species.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes













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