Dolichogenidea xenomorph Fagan-Jeffries & Austin, 1911

Fagan-Jeffries, Erinn P., Cooper, Steven J. B. & Austin, Andrew D., 2018, Three new species of Dolichogenidea Viereck (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Australia with exceptionally long ovipositors, Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64, pp. 177-190 : 177

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Dolichogenidea xenomorph Fagan-Jeffries & Austin

sp. n.

Dolichogenidea xenomorph Fagan-Jeffries & Austin sp. n. Figure 4

Material examined.

Holotype ♀: AUSTRALIA, NSW, 2.7 km NE of Queanbeyan, emerged 28/x/1979, I.F.B. Common, ex Ocystola euanthes Meyr ( ANIC: #32 130289). Paratype ♀: same data as holotype ( ANIC: #32 130290). Other material ♀: AUSTRALIA, WA, Stirling National Park, 22/ix/1965, E. Britton, U. Baker ( ANIC: #32 130287).


Diolichogenidea xenomorph can be separated from D. mediocaudata by having a longer ovipositor, smoother T1, and lighter, more consistent colouration of the femora and tibiae. The species is very similar to D. finchi , but can be separated by the stronger sculpturing pattern on the propodeum (Fig. 4d) and darker colouration of the lateral metasoma (Fig. 4b).


(Female). Colour. Head and body dark, including tergites and sternites; antenna dark; coxae (pro-, meso-, metacoxa): dark, dark, dark; femora (pro-, meso-, metafemur): orange, orange, dark to orange; tibiae (pro-, meso-, metatibia): orange, orange, orange; tegula and humeral complex orange; pterostigma dark; fore wing veins pale proximally transitioning to dark distally.

Head. Antennae slightly longer than body length; body length (head to apex of metasoma): 4 mm; ocular–ocellar line/posterior ocellus diameter: 1.8-2.1; interocellar distance/posterior ocellus diameter: 1.7-2.5.

Mesosoma. Anteromesoscutum densely and evenly punctate; mesoscutellar disc mostly smooth and shining with sparse punctures mostly associated with setae, lateral faces of mesoscutellum with anterior shallow sculpturing posterior to lunules (Fig. 4c); number of pits in scutoscutellar sulcus: 16; maximum height of mesoscutellum lunules/maximum height of lateral face of mesoscutellum 0.7-0.8. Propodeum with sparse punctures associated with setae, areola only indicated by smoother area in centre of propodeum and short carinae diverging from centre posterior margin of propodeum. Propodeum with rugose sculpturing in posterior half.

Fore wing length 4.3-4.4 mm; length of veins r/2RS 1.3-1.9; length of veins 2RS/2M 1.1-1.2; length of veins 2M/(RS+M)b 0.8-1; pterostigma length/width 2.6-3.

Legs. Metatibia inner spur length/metabasitarsus length 0.3-0.4.

Metasoma. T1 length/width at posterior margin 1.1-1.4; T1 shape broad, rectangular, almost parallel-sided; T1 mostly smooth with sparse punctures associated with short setae on lateral sides of posterior half; T2 width at posterior margin/length 4; T2 sculpture smooth and shiny, few shallow punctures associated with setae; T2/T3 boundary indistinct and sinuate. T3 smooth and shiny, at least twice as long as T2; hypopygium large with lateral creases, ovipositor sheath length/metatibial length 3.7-4.2.




The specimen from WA is here assigned to this species, but excluded from the type series due to its disjunct distribution which is also outside the known range of the host species. However, other species of the host genus are known from WA, but we take a more conservative approach until further specimens and host data become available.


This species is named for the fictional creature from the movie franchise ‘Alien’, which reportedly was inspired by the lifecycle of parasitic wasps. The name of the fictional creature comes from the Greek ‘xeno’ (strange) and ‘morphe’ (form) which is also appropriate, considering the remarkably long ovipositor of this species compared to other members of the genus. The species name is a noun in apposition.


Recorded from NSW and south-western WA.


Reared from Antipterna euanthes (Meyrick, 1885) ( Oecophoridae ), a species in which the larvae fold over the tip of a Eucalyptus leaf and continue developing even after the leaf is shed from the tree ( Common 1994). This lepidopteran species is recorded from ACT, NSW and Vic, however the genus extends into eastern Qld, Tasmania, and south-western WA ( Common 1994). The holotype and paratype of D. xenomorph have the same locality and host information. Whether they emerged singularly from two host larvae collected on the same date, or were gregarious in the one host is unknown.