Signiphora falcata Woolley & Dal Molin, 2017

Woolley, J. B. & Dal Molin, A., 2017, Taxonomic revision of the flavopalliata species group of Signiphora (Hymenoptera: Signiphoridae), Zootaxa 4315 (1), pp. 1-150 : 49-52

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Signiphora falcata Woolley & Dal Molin

n. sp.

Signiphora falcata Woolley & Dal Molin , n. sp. A12545 View Materials Figures 165–180 View FIGURES 165 – 168 View FIGURES 169 – 174 View FIGURES 175 – 180

Signiphora endophragmata Blanchard in Blanchard (1938: 27) (nomen nudum).

Diagnosis. The male genitalia with the characteristic long denticle on the digitus is distinctive for this species and unique in the flavopalliata group. The following combination of features is also diagnostic: discal seta present on fore wing; anterodorsal margin of Mt 8 in females transverse, without a medial incision; Ms 8 in males a transverse strip, without an anterior process. This species is most similar to S. dozieri , S. fax , and S. flavopalliata . It may be distinguished from S. dozieri by the pale meso- and metatibia in S. dozieri (tan to brown in S. falcata ) and by the entirely dark color of the propodeum in S. dozieri (medial sclerite usually lighter than lateral sclerites in S. falcata ). In both S. fax and S. flavopalliata Mt 8 bears a medial anterior incision, and in S. fax, Ms 8 has a pointed anteromedial projection.

Description. Female. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.36–0.46 mm (n=3). Vertex, frons, face and gena brown, clypeus dark brown, antenna uniformly pale tan. Pronotum and mesoscutum brown or lateral thirds of pronotum and posterior 1/2 of mesoscutum pale tan, scutellum and metanotum pale tan, propodeum excluding medial sclerite brown, medial sclerite of propodeum light brown or pale tan with posteromedial patch extending from halfway to entirely to anterior margin. Metasoma brown to apex, Mt5 through Mt7 sometimes lighter than preceding terga. Protibia, mesotibia, metatibia, profemur, mesofemur and metafemur dusky tan to brown. Fore wing infuscated from base to just beyond apex marginal vein, with two hyaline areas: just under submarginal vein and in basal fourth of wing at trailing edge.

Head. Vertex and frons finely and transversely striate with four longitudinal rows of minute punctations. Mandible bidentate, often with a short dorsal truncation, mandibular ducts enlarged apically. Pedicel length:scape length 0.82–0.94; 3 anelli, second anellus 2.0× length of first, third anellus 2.5–3.0× length of first; clava length:scape length 1.59–1.69.

Mesosoma. Pronotum and mesoscutum transversely imbricate; scutellum, metanotum, and medial sclerite of propodeum weakly so. Scutellum with 4 setae and 1 or 2 campaniform sensilla, medial propodeal sclerite rounded, process on medial sclerite rounded or pointed apically. Fore wing with discal seta, length:width 2.9–3.2, fore wing LMS:width 1.3–1.7; marginal vein length:stigmal vein length 2.4–2.8; marginal vein with 6 dorsal and 0 or 1 ventral setae; seta M3 length:marginal vein 0.56–0.96; apical end of costal cell between seta M1 to M3. Hind wing margins subparallel, hind wing length:width 7.0–9.3; hind wing width:fore wing width 0.33–0.36; hind wing LMS:hind wing width 3.20–4.00. Mesofemur with one long and one short spine on posteroapical margin; mesotibial spur with 5 or 6 teeth; mesotibial spur length:basitarsus length 0.94–1.12; basitarsus length:mesotibia length 0.49–0.55.

Metasoma. Mt1 strongly bilobed with medial portion transverse or rounded and weakly reticulate in transverse medial portion between the lateral lobes; Mt1 length:Mt2 length 2.0–3.0, ovipositor with anterior-most portion lying under Mt2–Mt3; ovipositor length:metasoma length 0.67–0.84; ovipositor sheath length:ovipositor length 0.22–0.25; Ms3–Ms6 with anterior projections of medium length; Ms 6 in posterior 1/4 of metasoma and with 6 setae; Mt8 with anterodorsal margin transverse, without a medial incision, but with lateral portions broadly rounded and produced very slightly anterior to medial portion.

Male. Length, anterior margin of pronotum to epiproct apex, 0.35–0.65 mm (n=8). As described for females except femora and tibiae of all legs brown to dark brown, Mt5–Mt7 not lighter than preceding terga, clava length:scape length 1.39–1.71. Male genitalia distinctive ( Fig. 179 View FIGURES 175 – 180 ); digitus with one long apical denticle, the apical denticle subequal in length to the digitus, digitus noticeably more sclerotized in its distal 1/3 and with one seta just proximal to the insertion of the apical denticle; Ms8 difficult to observe, apparently a very thin transverse strip, without an anteromedial projection, fused to posterior margin of Ms7 ( Fig. 180 View FIGURES 175 – 180 ).

Discussion. The holotype and paratypes from Weslaco, Texas and the male specimen from North Carolina have 6 or 7 setae on the scutellum. The males and females from Monterrey, Mexico and El Salvador have 4 setae on the scutellum. Mt 1 in the holotype and in one female from Monterrey, Mexico ( USNM ENT 299588) is strongly bilobed with the medial portion transverse, in other specimens Mt1 is weakly bilobed or bilobed with the medial portion rounded. No campaniform sensilla are evident on the scutellum of the holotype or paratypes, other specimens examined have one or two campaniform sensilla on the scutellum. We examined a specimen from Buenos Aires ( Argentina); labeled as “co-tipo” of Signiphora endophragmata Blanchard , a nomen nudum used by Blanchard (1938) but never formally published. It is clearly referable to this species. The locality for UCRC ENT 300234 is unclear, as the label states “Conception [sic], Misiones ” in ink, in H. Compre’s handwriting, but there is a note in pencil that says “ Chile ” in a different handwriting. We were unable to locate a matching locality. It may actually refer to Concepción de la Sierra, Misiones, Argentina.

Type material. HOLOTYPE ♂: in balsam (TAMU-ENTO X0828020), TEXAS, Hidalgo Co., Weslaco , coll. P. Krauter, 24-XI-1981, beneath elytron of boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman , caught in pheromone trap. Holotype deposited in TAMU. PARATYPES: 1 ♂ in balsam (TAMU-ENTO X0828021), data as holotype ; 1 ♂ in Hoyers, TEXAS, Brazos Co. College Station , colls. P. Wilkinson and J.B. Woolley, ex: diaspidid on hackberry ; 4 ♀ and 6 ♂ in balsam and 7 card-mounted specimens (sex not clear) (TAMU-ENTO X0828024, TAMU-ENTO X0828026–X0828036 and TAMU-ENTO X0855784–X0855790), Mexico, Michoacan, 28.5 miles S. Nueva Italia, 9.vii.1985, ex: armored scale ; 1 ♂ and 1 ♀ in balsam (TAMU-ENTO X0828022–X0828023), Mexico, Guanajuato, 8.6 mi. N. Guanajuato, 5.vii.1985, ex: armored scale on? Arctostaphylus ; 1 ♀ and 2 ♂ (UCRC ENT 299585– 299586, UCRC ENT 299588), Mexico, N.L., Monterrey, coll. DeBach, ex: Mycetaspis personata (Comstock) on avocado; 1 ♀ and 1 ♂ in balsam ( UCRC ENT 299584 View Materials ), Mexico, N.L., Linares , 4.vii.1954, ex: Mycetaspis personata on avocado ; 1 ♂ in balsam ( UCRC ENT 300235 View Materials ), Brazil, Sao Paulo, Pintanqueiras [sic], P. DeBach, dissected as internal ex: Pseudaonidia trilobitiformis (Green) on lemon, presumed secondary. Paratypes are deposited in TAMU, UCR, CNC, UANL, USNM, and BMNH.

Other material examined. ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires: 1 slide, mixed series. ( MLPA) . ARGENTINA: Tucumán: 1 ♀ and 1 ♂, SHYM0001-SHYM0002 ( IFML) . ARGENTINA: Misiones (?): 1 mixed series. UCRC ENT 300234 View Materials ( UCR) . EL SALVADOR: 1 ♂, USNM ENT 763143 View Materials ( USNM) . USA: Florida: 1 ♀, TAMU-ENTO X0852816 ( TAMU) . USA: North Carolina: 1 ♂, CNCHYMEN 122360 ( CNC) . USA: Texas: 1 ♂, USNM ENT 763144 View Materials ( USNM) .

Biology. The holotype and one paratype were found under the elytra of boll weevils by P. Krauter of Texas A&M University, during a project in which the elytra of several thousand boll weevils were removed (R. Wharton and J. Cate, personal communications). The boll weevils were caught in pheromone traps and killed and preserved in formaldehyde until dissection. Both specimens were found in a similar position on the anterior region of the metasoma, facing forwards. The significance of this phenomenon is unknown, but phoresy is suggested. No other case of phoresy is known in Signiphoridae . Other records for this species (USNM ENT 299584–299588 and USNM ENT 00674143) indicate that this species is a parasitoid of armored scales. DeBach's notes on the specimen from Brazil indicate that this male was dissected as an internal parasitoid (presumed hyperparasitoid) of Pseudaonidia trilobitiformis ( Diaspididae ). The record from aphids (USNM ENT 00763144) is probably due to a mixed rearing sample. Finally, the label of UCRC ENT 300234 indicates that a male and female were reared from a coccid killing a tung tree ( Euphorbiaceae : Vernicia fordii (Hemsl.)) , but a pencil addition indicates a rearing from Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell) .


Carolina Biological Supply Company


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Ministry of Natural Resources


University of California, Riverside


Texas A&M University


University of California


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon














Signiphora falcata Woolley & Dal Molin

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

Signiphora endophragmata Blanchard in Blanchard (1938: 27)

Blanchard 1938: 27