GENETICS AND EVOLUTION OF HOST SPECIFICITY OF INSECT BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS, EMPHASIZING APHIDS AND MOTHS
Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research
Title: An identification key to species in the mali complex of Aphelinus (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) with descriptions of three new species
Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2012
Publication Date: May 28, 2012
Citation: Hopper, K.R., Woolley, J.B., Hoelmer, K.A., Wu, K., Lee, S. 2012. An identification key to species in the mali complex of Aphelinus (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) with descriptions of three new species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 26:73-96.
Interpretive Summary: The soybean aphid was recently introduced from Asia into North America and has invaded most soybean growing regions. A project to find, evaluate, and introduce Asian parasitic wasps of soybean aphid into North America was initiated in 2001. During this project, species that are new to science were discovered. Two of these new species proved to have narrow host ranges and thus are suitable for introduction to control soybean aphid. However, they need published names and descriptions before they can be released in the field. In this paper, we describe these new species and provide a key to the species complex of they are members. These descriptions and key will allow identification of these parasitic wasps after introduction.
The Aphelinus mali complex consists of eleven described species, and the monophyly of this complex is well supported by a combination of traits: (1) a single complete row of setae proximal to the linea calva of the forewing, with a few additional setae in the angle between this row and the marginal vein; (2) linea calva open (no setae at its posterior edge); (3) head and body dark except for parts of the metasoma; (4) middle and hind coxae dark; (5) hind femur pale, (6) hind tibia dark. Species within the complex have been distinguished by color and shape of antennal segments (particularly the third funicular segment), color of legs and metasoma, and relative length of ovipositor versus middle tibia. We provide a key for identifying species in the mali complex, and describe two new species, Aphelinus glycinis n.sp. and Aphelinus rhamni n.sp., from material in laboratory cultures originally reared from soybean aphid in China as candidates for biological control of soybean aphid, Aphis glycines.