Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead, 1900

Woolley, J. B. & Dal Molin, A., 2017, Taxonomic revision of the flavopalliata species group of Signiphora (Hymenoptera: Signiphoridae), Zootaxa 4315 (1), pp. 1-150 : 16-19

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Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead, 1900


Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead, 1900

Figures 17–32 View FIGURES 17 – 20 View FIGURES 21 – 26 View FIGURES 27 – 32

Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead, 1900:412 . Female. Thysanus aspidioti: Peck (1951) ; Yoshimoto (1965).

Signiphora aspidioti : Nikol'skaya (1952); Rosanov (1965).

Diagnosis. Fore wing marginal vein without seta M1; male metasoma uniformly brown (males common); both sexes with antennal clava pale with apical 1/2 distinctly dusky; female with Mt1 length:Mt2 length usually 0.50 (0.50–0.62); female with Mt8 anterior margin with rounded medial incision or broadly concave.

This species is most similar to S. borinquensis and S. lutea . Signiphora aspidioti can be distinguished from S. borinquensis by the more deeply incised anterior margin of Mt 8 in female and by the greater extent of dusky color on the antennal clava (apical 1/2 versus apical 1/6). Signiphora aspidioti females can be distinguished from S. lutea females by the distal 1/3 of the antennal clava slightly dusky and the distal spine on the mesofemur 1/4–2/3× length of the proximal spine in the latter. In S. aspidioti the distal spine is very short, less than 1/4× length of the proximal spine.

Description. Female. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.41–0.62 mm (n=10). Head uniformly brown, darkest at vertex and lightest at gena and frons. Antenna pale with distal half of clava dusky, margin between pale area and dusky area distinct. Pronotum except lateral margins, and anterior 1/2–5/6 and medial 2/3 mesoscutum brown. Remainder of pronotum and mesoscutum, scutellum, metanotum, propodeum, Mt1 orange or pale yellow to pale white; Mt2–Mt3 and anterior half of Mt4 to anterior half of Mt5 dark brown, darkest laterally; remainder of terga orange-yellow, Mt6 occasionally dusky laterally; Mt8, epiproct and ovipositor sheaths slightly dusky; fore wing infuscated from base to below distal end of stigmal vein or occasionally slightly beyond with two hyaline areas under submarginal vein; legs pale yellow.

Head. Mandibular ducts enlarged apically; pedicel length:scape length 0.60–0.75; funicle with 3 anelli, second anellus subequal to 3× length of first, third anellus 2.5–4× length of first, clava length:scape length 1.54–1.83; vertex and frons finely and transversely striate with four longitudinal rows of minute punctations.

Mesosoma. Pronotum and mesoscutum transversely imbricate, scutellum, metanotum and propodeum weakly so; scutellum with 4 or 6 setae (see discussion) and 2 campaniform sensilla; medial propodeal sclerite rounded, process on medial sclerite rounded or pointed apically. Fore wing length:width 3.3–3.7, fore wing LMS:fore wing width 1.4–1.8; marginal vein length:stigmal vein length 1.5–2.4; marginal vein with 5 dorsal setae and without ventral setae, seta M1 absent; seta M3 length:marginal vein length 0.42–0.73; apical end of costal cell at seta M2– M3. Hind wing with subparallel margins; length:width 6.7–11.7; hind wing width:fore wing width 0.30–0.46; hind wing LMS:hind wing width 3.17–5.67; mesofemur with 1 long spine and 1 short spine in posteroapical margin; mesotibial spur with 3–5 teeth, mesotibial spur length:basitarsus length 0.81–1.19; basitarsus length:mesotibia length 0.40–0.55.

Metasoma. Mt1 bilobed to strongly bilobed with medial portion transverse (see discussion); Mt1 subequal to or slightly longer than Mt2; ovipositor with apical margin lying under Mt3–Mt5; ovipositor length:metasoma length 0.52–0.79; ovipositor sheath length:ovipositor length 0.20–0.27; Ms3–Ms6 with anterior projections short to medium; Ms 6 in posterior 1/4 metasoma and with 8 or 9 setae; Mt8 with anterodorsal margin with rounded medial emargination or broadly and medially concave with convex lateral margins.

Male. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.41–0.48 mm. As described for female except the following: anterior ¾ of mesoscutum brown, propodeum dusky lateral to medial sclerite and medial sclerite pale brown, metasoma entirely brown or with Mt5 light brown and Mt6 brown. Antennal clava with pale basal 1/2 and dusky apical 1/2 more distinctly different than female clava (but see discussion). Genitalia normal for flavopalliata group; digitus length twice its width; digitus with one short apical denticle and one seta at its midpoint. Ms8 a narrow transverse strip, extending past cerci laterally.

Discussion. The holotype female of S. aspidioti has 6 setae on the mesoscutum, all other specimens examined have 4 setae on the mesoscutum. In addition, the lateral margins of the pronotum and posterolateral areas of the mesoscutum are light brown on the holotype, but these areas are much lighter in color on other specimens. The posterior portion of Mt1 is bilobed with the medial portion rounded in the holotype and topotypical female from San Luis, Mexico, and in the series from Weslaco, Texas, whereas in other specimens examined Mt1 is bilobed with the medial portion transverse. The series from Austin, Texas, otherwise agrees with the diagnosis for S. aspidioti , but the antennal clava in both sexes is uniformly pale or only very weakly dusky apically. Ashmead refers to only one “ type in the description, although there is a second specimen with same collection data as holotype [ USNM ENT 763012 ( USNM)]. That specimen is labeled “homotype” and therefore has no nomenclatural standing.

Type material. Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead , HOLOTYPE ♀ [examined]: in balsam, USNM Type 4859, Mexico, [state unknown], San Luis, coll. C.H. Townsend, XI-1894, ex Aspidiotus nerii (Bouché) .

Other material examined. AUSTRALIA: Queensland : 1 ♀, UCRC ENT 299185 View Materials ( UCR). ECUADOR: Galapagos: 12 ♀, TAMU-ENTO X0424915, X0424922, X0424936, X0424928, X0424942 X0424946, X0609355, X0609360, X0609361, X0609370, X0609372, X0609373 ( TAMU). MEXICO: 1 mixed series, 1 ♀, UCRC ENT 299186 View Materials ( UCR); USNM ENT 763012 View Materials ( USNM). MEXICO: Baja California Sur: 1 mixed series. UCRC ENT 299189 View Materials ( UCR). MEXICO: Michoacán: 2 mixed series. UCRC ENT 299186–299187 View Materials ( UCR). USA: California: 1 mixed series, 1 ♀, UCRC ENT 299188, 299190 ( UCR). USA: Hawaii: 1 mixed series, 2 ♀, 1 unknown. USNM ENT 763008, 763011 ( USNM); UCRC ENT 299183 View Materials (damaged); UCRC ENT 299184 View Materials ( UCR). USA: Texas: 6 ♂, 29 ♀, 1 mixed series. INHS 72510 View Materials ( INHS); USNM ENT 763010 View Materials ( USNM); TAMU-ENTO X0424886–X0424893 ( TAMU); TAMU-ENTO X0460255, X0460257–X0460262, X0460264–X0460276, X0460278–X0460282 ( TAMU); TAMU-ENTO X0460277 ( UCR).

Biology. This species appears to be biparental; however, the 21 specimens from the Weslaco, Texas reared series are all females. In continental USA and Mexico the species is an armored scale parasitoid. In particular, two genera are attacked, Aspidiotus Bouché and Hemiberlesia Cockerell. However , the single series from Hawaii was recorded to parasitize Asterolecanium Targioni Tozzetti ( Hemiptera : Asterolecaniidae ). Although further details are not available, this is a very unusual host record for a member of the flavopalliata group.


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Signiphora aspidioti Ashmead, 1900

Woolley, J. B. & Dal Molin, A. 2017

Signiphora aspidioti

Ashmead 1900: 412