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J. HYM. RES. Vol. 9(2), 2000, pp. 213-219 The Re-definition of Pimpline Genus Hymenoepimecis (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) with a Description of a Plesiomorphic New Costa Rican Species Ian D. Gauld The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK Abstract. — An aberrant new species of the Neotropical genus Hymenoepimecis, H. argyraphaga Gauld n. sp. is described from Costa Rica, and the genus is redefined to accommodate this new taxon. A key is provided to identify the Costa Rican species. It is hypothesised that H. argyraphaga occupies a basal position in the genus, and is the sister group to all other species. The systematic position of Hymenoepimecis within the Polysphincta genus-group is discussed and a sister-group relationship with Acrotaphus, another New World genus, is demonstrated. It is suggested that this clade has arisen from within a paraphyletic "Polysphincta" complex, a cosmopolitan group that has yet to be resolved as a series of monophyletic taxa. Host records for the clade are summarised, and it is shown that the group are specialist parasitoids of orb-web spiders of the families Ara-neidae and Tetragnathidae. Hymenoepimecis is an exclusively neo-tropical genus of ichneumonid wasps that belongs to the Polysphincta complex of genera, the "Polysphinctini" seiisu Townes (1969), a monophyletic clade that has aris-en from within the pimpline tribe Ephial-tini (Wahl and Gauld, 1998). This clade is biologically unique within the Ichneu-monidae because all members are koino-biont ectoparasitoids of spiders (Fitton et al. 1988; Gauld 1991; Gauld et al. 1998). Elsewhere in the Hymenoptera such an as-sociation is only known in a few Pompi-lidae (Wasbauer 1995). The female ichneu-monid temporarily paralyses a spider by stinging it, and then attaches an egg either to the cephalothorax (the Schizopyga/ Dreisbachia subgroup) or to the abdomen (the Polysphincta and Zatypota subgroups). The ichneumonid larva develops as an ec-tophagous parasitoid on the active spider. The Hymenoepimecis of southern Mesoa-merica are reasonably well-known (Gauld 1991; Gauld et al. 1998), but recently, a new species of has been found in Costa Rica which possesses certain plesiomorph-ic features that necessitate redefining the genus. The purpose of this paper is to do this, and to describe and characterise this new species, in order to provide a taxo-nomic background for the following paper (Eberhard, 2000) which describes the bi-ology of these fascinating insects. Genus Hymenoepimecis Viereck Epimecis Brulle 1846: 112. Type-species: Epimecis bicolor Brulle, designated by Ashmead 1900: 54. Qunior homonym of Epimecis Hiibner.] Hymenoepimecis Viereck 1912: 149. [Replace-ment name for Epimecis Brulle.] Diagnosis. — Medium to large insects (fore wing length 6-14 mm) which are generally orange with black marking, with the wings from more or less hyaline to completely black, occasionally black and yellow patterned. Head somewhat glo-bose, though abruptly declivous posteri-orly; clypeus simple, not transversely di-vided, flat, apically truncate or slightlv concave; mandible slender, strongly ta-pered with upper tooth distinctly the lon-ger; palp formula 5:4; occipital carina very strong, dorsallv convex, flange-like, con-tinuous to base of mandible, with part just

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The Re-definition of Pimpline Genus Hymenoepimecis (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) with a Description of a Plesiomorphic New Costa Rican Species

Ian D Gauld
Journal of Hymenoptera Research 9: 213-219 (2000)

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