Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead, 1880

Woolley, J. B. & Dal Molin, A., 2017, Taxonomic revision of the flavopalliata species group of Signiphora (Hymenoptera: Signiphoridae), Zootaxa 4315 (1), pp. 1-150 : 62-66

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead, 1880


Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead, 1880

Figures 213–228 View FIGURES 213 – 216 View FIGURES 217 – 222 View FIGURES 223 – 228

Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead, 1880: 29 . Female. (As Signiphora flavopalliatus .)

Signiphora occidentalis Howard, 1894: 235 . Female. NEW STATUS, synonymy by Girault (1913) Signiphora flavopalliata occidentalis: Girault (1916) ; De Santis (1973, 1979). Thysanus flavopalliatus: Peck (1951) ; Burks (1967).

Thysanus occidentalis: Peck (1951) .

Signiphora flavopalliata : Nikol'skaya (1952); De Santis (1967); Gordh (1979). Signiphora occidentalis: Rozanov (1965) ; Gordh (1979).

Signiphora flavopalliata flavopalliata: De Santis (1973 , 1979).

Diagnosis. Fore wing with discal seta present; Mt1 strongly bilobed with medial portion transverse; Mt8 with anterodorsal margin with a rounded medial incision; Ms 8 in male transverse, without an anteromedial projection; scutellum generally with 4 setae.

Description. Female. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.35–0.69 mm (n=45). Vertex, frons, face and gena tan to brown, clypeus dark brown. Antenna uniformly pale brown. Pronotum and anterior 1/2 to entire mesoscutum except posterolateral corners light brown (see discussion). Posterior portion of mesoscutum, scutellum, metanotum and lateral sclerites propodeum pale yellow, orange or tan. Medial sclerite propodeum as metanotum, or light in anterior 1/6–1/2, or brown to dark brown. Mt1–Mt4 light to dark brown, Mt5–Mt7 lighter than preceding terga in some specimens (see discussion); or metasoma to Mt7 uniformly light to dark brown. Mt8, epiproct and ovipositor sheaths dusky brown. Fore wing infuscated from base to slightly beyond distal end stigmal vein, with two hyaline areas at base behind submarginal vein and along posterior edge of wing.

Head. Vertex and frons finely, transversely striate or imbricate with scattered punctations. Mandible with 2 teeth, mandibular ducts enlarged apically. Pedicel length scape length 0.64–0.94, antenna with 3 anelli, the second 1.5–3.0× length of the first, the third 2.0–4.0× length of the first; clava length:scape length 1.60–2.31.

Mesosoma. Pronotum and mesoscutum transversely imbricate; scutellum, metanotum and medial sclerite of propodeum weakly imbricate. Scutellum with 4 setae and 2 campaniform sensilla; medial propodeal sclerite rounded, process on medial sclerite rounded or pointed apically. Fore wing with discal seta, length:width 2.3–4.5, fore wing LMS:fore wing width 1.1–2.1; marginal vein length:stigmal vein length 1.9–3.5; marginal vein with 5–6 dorsal setae seta M1 sometimes absent (see discussion); seta M3 length:marginal vein length 0.46–0.97; apical end of costal cell from proximal to seta M1 to seta M3. Hind wing with subparallel margins, 6.0–10.3× as long as wide, 0.30–0.55× fore wing width; hind wing LMS:hind wing width 2.20–5.00. Mesofemur with one long and one short spine on posteroapical margin; mesotibial spur with 5–9 teeth, mesotibial spur length:basitarsus length 0.88–1.31; basitarsus:mesotibia length 0.46–069.

Metasoma. Mt1 bilobed with medial portion transverse, rarely bilobed with medial portion rounded; length Mt1 length:Mt2 length 0.5–2.0 (almost always 1.0, see discussion). Ovipositor with anterior-most portion lying under propodeum–Mt4; ovipositor length:metasoma length 0.51–0.96; ovipositor sheath length:ovipositor length 0.19–0.27; Ms3–Ms6 with anterior projections medium to long; Ms6 between posterior ¼ of metasoma and midpoint to almost apex of metasoma and with 6–8 setae; Mt8 with anterodorsal margin transverse with a rounded, medial incision.

Male. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.31–0.58 mm (n=9). As described for female except: scutellum and metanotum pale white to orange, metasoma uniformly light brown to brown to apex; clava length: scape length 1.70–2.05. Genitalia normal for flavopalliata group, digitus with an apical denticle and a single seta at its midpoint, length of digitus approximately 2× its width; Ms8 a thin, transverse strip, extending to cerci laterally, without an anteromedial projection.

Discussion. Howard (1894) described S. occidentalis from a series of specimens collected in San Gabriel, California. Girault (1913) treated S. occidentalis as a junior synonym of S. flavopalliata , but later ( Girault 1916) he treated S. occidentalis as a subspecies of S. flavopalliata , as did De Santis (1973, 1979). Signiphora occidentalis has been treated as a valid species by most authors ( Peck 1951, 1963; Rozanov 1965; Burks 1967; Gordh 1979); but we treat it as a synonym of S. flavopalliata .

The material examined from California and Florida does show minor differences in coloration: the amount of yellow or tan color on the posterior portion of the mesoscutum is generally greater in material from the southeastern USA and in females from this area Mt5–Mt7 are typically lighter in color than Mt2–Mt4. In specimens from southern California and Baja California Norte, Mexico, the mesoscutum is typically entirely dark brown, or nearly so, and the metasoma is typically uniformly brown to Mt8. However, specimens from California with the coloration typical of the southeastern USA have been noted, and vice versa. Material from Texas displays both extremes of coloration. No consistent structural differences or indications of biological differences have been noted which would support maintaining S. occidentalis as a valid species or subspecies, and we therefore place S. occidentalis back into synonymy with S. flavopalliata .

Seta M1 is rarely absent from the fore wing marginal vein in material from the southeastern USA but seta M1 is absent in approximately half of the specimens observed from California and Mexico. The length of Mt1 relative to Mt2 is almost always 1.0 in this species, but may vary from 0.5–2.0.

Type material. Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead — HOLOTYPE [examined]: ♀ in balsam ( USNM Type 2801); FLORIDA, Jacksonville, coll. Wm. Ashmead .

Signiphora occidentalis Howard—LECTOTYPE ♀ [here designated]: in balsam, USNM Type 1473, CALIFORNIA, San Gabriel, coll. Coquillett, 1-VI-1887, ex Aspidiotus aurantii var. citrinus [now Aonidiella citrina ]. PARALECTOTYPES: data as lectotype except 30-V-1887 and 3-VI-1887, 1 ♀ and 3 ♂ in balsam (3 slides, USNM Type 1473). The lectotype female is the only specimen on a slide labeled accordingly.

Other material examined. BERMUDA: 1 ♀, USNM ENT 763167 View Materials ( USNM) . MEXICO: 1 ♀, USNM ENT 763055 View Materials ( USNM) . MEXICO: Baja California Norte: 3 ♀, 1 ♂, 2 mixed series, 2 sex unknown. UCRC ENT 299121 -299128 (UCR). MEXICO: Baja California Sur: 1 sex unknown, 4 ♀, 2 mixed series. UCRC ENT 299139–299143, 299590 , 300233 ( UCR) . MEXICO: Morelos: 1 ♀, USNM ENT 763100 View Materials ( USNM) . MEXICO: Nuevo León: 1 ♀, UCRC ENT 299138 View Materials ( UCR) . MEXICO: Oaxaca: 1 ♀, 1 ♂, TAMU-ENTO X0460230, X0460229 ( TAMU) . MEXICO: Sinaloa: 1 sex unknown, 1 ♀, 1 mixed series. UCRC ENT 299129–299130, 299137 ( UCR) . MEXICO: Tamaulipas: 3 ♀, TAMU-ENTO X0424830, X0424831, X0424832 ( TAMU) . USA: California: 2 sex unknown, 10 ♀, UCRC ENT 299119–299120, 299131–299134 ( UCR) ; USNM ENT 763065, 763162–763166 (USNM). USA: Florida: 1 sex unknown, 13 ♀, TAMU –ENTO x0616126, x0616127 (FSCA); BMNH(E) 990183, 990187, 990188 (BMNH); TAMU-ENTO X0852805–X852810 (TAMU); UCRC ENT 299117–299118 (UCR); USNM ENT 763054 (USNM). USA: Louisiana: 2 mixed series, 3 ♀, 2 ♂, USNM ENT 763058 –763064 (USNM). USA: Texas: 2 sex unknown, 21 ♀, 3 ♂, BMNH (E) 990185, 990186 ( BMNH) ; TAMU– ENTO X0424883, X0424900–X0424910, X0460221–X0460228, X0460314, X0852804, X0855842 (TAMU); USNM ENT 763056–763057 (USNM).

Biology. This species is biparental, although males are not common in the southeastern USA, and it is known to be hyperparasitic. DeBach (1953) found that S. flavopalliata developed as an external parasitoid of Comperiella bifasciata Howard ( Encyrtidae ) in A. aurantii ( Diaspididae ). Reproduction of S. flavopalliata was not observed when females were presented with unparasitized hosts, thus this species appears to be an obligate hyperparasitoid. One slide containing host material ( UCRC ENT 299129) shows clear evidence of this species developing as a hyperparasitoid of Encarsia sp. on Lepidosaphes gloverii (Packard) and a second slide (TAMU-ENTO x04224906) shows evidence of hyperparasitic development on Aphytis sp. on C. perniciosa . Otherwise, material examined has been reared from a wide variety of Diaspididae and Aleyrodidae .


University of Newcastle


Carolina Biological Supply Company


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


University of California, Riverside


Ministry of Natural Resources


University of California


Texas A&M University














Signiphora flavopalliata Ashmead, 1880

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

Signiphora occidentalis

Howard 1894: 235

Signiphora flavopalliata

Ashmead 1880: 29