Submitted to: Australian Journal of Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2007
Publication Date: 12/23/2007
Citation: Buffington, M.L. 2007. A revision of Australian Thrasorinae (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) with a description of a new genus and six new species. Australian Journal of Entomology. 47:203-212.
Interpretive Summary: The harvesting of Eucalyptus in Australia generates $750 million dollars annually. Detecting and understanding the biology of insects both detrimental and beneficial to these trees is tantamount in the successful cultivation and maintenance of this industry. This paper describes a group of parasitic wasps new to science from Australia. It includes 6 new species that are natural enemies of other insects that damage new growth among several species of Eucalyptus. These newly described species have the potential to control the populations of pestiferous insects on Eucalyptus, savings millions of dollars typically spent on pesticides used to protect this important forest commodity. This information will be useful to all researchers and agricultural specialists involved in the biological control of forest and crop pests.
Technical Abstract: A new genus of Thrasorinae (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) is described based on material reared from an unidentified Ophelimus species (Eulophidae: Ophelimini) on Eucalyptus cinerea F. Muell. ex Benth. (Myrtaceae). Mikeius Buffington n. gen. includes six species: M. berryi Buffington n. sp., M. hartigi (Girault) n. comb., M. gatesi Buffington n. sp., M. grandawi Buffington n. sp., M. neumanni Buffington n. sp. and M. schauffi Buffington, n. sp.; M. hartigi is designated as the type species of Mikeius. Thrasorus Weld is revised and the description of T. schmidtae Buffington n. sp. is provided, as well as a redescription of T. pilosus Weld. All records to date indicate species of Mikeius and Thrasorus are associated with hosts that induce galls on species of Acacia and Eucalyptus, though most of these host records await verification.