Lelaps noortii Desjardins, 2007

Desjardins, Christopher A., 2007, Phylogenetics and classification of the world genera of Diparinae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Zootaxa 1647 (1), pp. 1-88 : 61-62

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.1647.1.1

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scientific name

Lelaps noortii Desjardins

New Species

Lelaps noortii Desjardins   , New Species

( Fig. 68 View FIGURES 65–70 )

Type information: Holotype female ( SAM): “ South Africa, W. Cape, Koeberg Nature Reserve, 33°37.62’S 18°24.26’E, 27 Dec 1997 – 23 Jan 1998, S. van Noort, KO97-Y158, Yellow Pan Trap (cup), Station 5, West Coast Strandveld dominated by Euphorbia   and Rhus spp.   SAM-HYM-P020997.” 1 paratype female ( SAM): same data as holotype except “ 31 Oct–28 Nov 1997, KO97-Y111, Yellow Pan Trap (bowl), Station 3. SAM- HYM-P020998.”

Diagnosis: Lelaps noortii   can be distinguished from the remaining species of Lelaps   by its posteriorly smooth metacoxa, absence of bristles, and filiform antennae. The remainder of Lelaps   have transverse striations on the posterior margin of the metacoxa, strong, dark bristles on the vertex and dorsal surface of the mesosoma, and clavate antennae.

Description: Female. 1.9 mm. Color: Brownish black with metallic green and blue highlights, with the following exceptions: Scape, pedicel brownish orange, flagellum brown, eyes grey, scutellum metallic yellowish green, propodeum mostly metallic greenish blue, nucha metallic bluish green, all legs yellowish white to brownish orange, ovipositor yellowish orange. Head: Circular in frontal view, 0.9X as high as wide; eye sparsely setose, 1.4X as high as wide; vertex smooth, remaining head longitudinally strigose ( Eady 1968); ocellocular: postocellar: mid-to-lateral ocellus distance: lateral ocellus diameter about 4.3:6.3:4:1; scrobe high, narrow, reaching to 0.8X distance to mid-ocellus; scrobal basin and walls coriaceous-imbricate; interantennal carina absent; toruli separated by 0.6X torulus diameters; scape height about 0.9X eye height; anellus about 3X broader than long; ratio of scape: pedicel: anellus: F1: F2: F3 about 35: 12: 1: 15: 9: 9; F4 and F5 about 1.5X as long as broad; clypeal boundaries indistinct. Mesosoma: Dorsally pronotum finely, transversely strigose ( Eady 1968), scutum medial to notauli and axillae finely alveolate, scutum lateral to notauli smooth, scutellum longitudinally strigose ( Eady 1968); ratio of pronotum: scutum: scutellum: propodeum about 1.2: 1.4: 1.4: 1; mesosoma bare except scutum dorsally with sparse, fine, white setae; pronotum 2.3X wider than long; scutum 2.3X wider than long; marginal rim of scutellum with lightly grooved, pitted lamella; metanotum narrow band with pits delimited by longitudinal striae; propodeum along anterior margin with pits delimited by longitudinal carinae, remainder of propodeum areolate, becoming more irregular lateral to plica; nucha indistinct; plica present as longitudinal carina; postspiracular sulcus smooth with pits delimited by transverse carinae; spiracle small, 3.5X own diameter from metanotum; callus mostly bare except for a few fine, white setae, projecting posteriorly as point beyond postspiracular sulcus; prepectus triangular, in similar plane as pronotum, abutting at about 160° angle; mesepimeron mostly smooth, with dorsal and ventro-posterior margins pitted; femoral depression shallow, areolate, well defined anteriorly and posteriorly; metapleuron smooth; coxae anteriorly with few fine, white setae; meso- and metatibia spinose; longer metatibial spur about 1.7X length of shorter, 0.6X width of metatibia at point of spur insertion; metabasitarsus about 3.8X as long as wide, 0.6X length of remaining tarsi; hind coxae faintly transversely striate along posterior margin; wings brachypterous, forewing reduced, pointed antero-distally, about 0.7X length of mesosoma, hindwing reduced, about 0.6 length of forewing, with fringe-like setae on distal margin. Metasoma: About 1.9X length of mesosoma; ratio of GT1: GT2–6: GT7: ovipositor sheaths 5:1:1.5:1.5; GT1–4 bare; lateral surface of GT5, all of GT6–7 and ovipositor sheath covered in fine, white, setae; ovipositor apico-dorsally smooth. Male: Unknown.

Discussion: In all phylogenetic analyses L. noortii   is nested within the Lelaps   clade as sister-taxon to Lelaps   < Spalangiolaelaps   >. This relationship is based on 2 synapomorphies (loss of the frenal sulcus and strongly arched, closely spaced notauli), both of which are highly homoplastic in the analysis. The loss and gain of the frenal sulcus may be even more plastic than suggested by this analysis; this possibility is discussed in Lelaps   ’ generic entry. However, it should also be noted that L. noortii   has metallic coloration over most of its body. While this trait was not coded in the phylogenetic analysis, it is generally rare throughout Diparinae   although common in Lelaps   .

Within the Lelaps   clade, L. noortii   has 5 autapomorphic features: posteriorly smooth metacoxa, absence of bristles, filiform antennae, an elongate pedicel which is subequal in length to F1, and absence of a malar groove. None of these traits are unique to L. noortii   within Diparinae   and all could become sympleiso- or synapomorphic given an alternate placement of the taxon. Also, L. noortii   and the remainder of Lelaps   have extremely disjunct distributions. L. noortii   is found only the Western Cape Province of South Africa, while Lelaps   is endemic to the New World. L. noortii   may be a relict of a time when Lelaps   had a broader range across a combined South America and Africa, or it may represent a recolonization of Africa from South America. Although L. noortii   may represent the sister-taxon to the remainder of Lelaps   and therefore be recognizable as a genus, the results of the final phylogenetic analysis warrant the description of L. noortii   as a species of Lelaps   . However, a species-level phylogenetic study of Lelaps   itself may be needed to ascertain the true relationship between the two taxa.

Etymology: Named for Simon van Noort of the Cape Town Museum ( South Africa), who provided much new African material which was vital for this study, and who assisted in my collection of diparines during my visit to Cape Town.

Distribution: South Africa, Western Cape.

Hosts: Unknown.


South African Museum