Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2008
Publication Date: July 7, 2008
Citation: Buffington, M.L., Scheffer, S.J. 2008. North American species of Agrostocynips Diaz (Hymenoptera: Figitidae), parasitoids of Agromyzidae (Diptera): bionomics and taxonomy. Zootaxa. 1817:39-48.
Interpretive Summary: Leafmining insects are a principle pest group in several agriculture commodities, such as melons, tomatoes, and lettuce. Leafmining flies are especially troublesome in warmer regions of North America and the Pacific Islands, causing millions of dollars in losses annually. Since these flies feed inside of the leaf, typical pesticide applications fail to control these pest populations. Parasitic wasps are very effective at controlling these pests, but the identification of these wasps is very difficult. This paper re-describes two species in North America that attack these leafmining flies. Aside from taxonomists, biological control workers, agricultural extension agents, and ecologists will find this paper useful.
The genus Agrostocynips Diaz is redescribed, as well as two species endemic to the Nearctic: Agrostocynips diastrophi (Ashmead) and A. robusta (Ashmead). Previous to this study, only Neotropical species of Agrostocynips were well diagnosed both taxonomically and biologically. Agrostocynips belongs to the Zaeucoila group of genera, and informal grouping of Neotropical eucoilines that principally parasitize Agromyzidae (Diptera); among these genera, species of Agrostocynips are the only group that are found in the Nearctic. Detailed host records and biological notes are provided.