Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2008
Publication Date: 4/15/2008
Citation: Buffington, M.L., Liljeblad, J. 2008. The description of Euceroptrinae, a new subfamily of Figitidae (Hymenoptera), including a revision of Euceroptres Ashmead, 1896 including the description of a new species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 17: 44-56.
Interpretive Summary: There are about 500 species of oak worldwide. These trees are not only critical components in a myriad of ecosystems, but are important components in suburban and urban environments as well. Detecting and understanding the biology of insects both detrimental and beneficial to oaks is important in the successful cultivation and maintenance of these trees. This paper describes a group of parasitic wasps new to science from California that includes 1 new species that is a natural enemy of other insects that damage species of oak. This newly described species and related species have the potential to control the populations of pestiferous insects on oaks, savings millions of dollars typically spent on pesticides used to protect these important trees. This information will be useful to all researchers and agricultural specialists involved in the biological control of forest pests.
Technical Abstract: The figitid genus Euceroptres Ashmead has recently been determined to render the Thrasorinae, a subfamily where the genus is currently classified, paraphyletic. In order to maintain monophyly of Thrasorinae, Euceroptres is here classified into a new subfamily, Euceroptrinae, new subfamily. In order to justify such a change to figitid classification, Euceroptres is redescribed. All previously described species are also redescribed and a new species, Euceroptres whartoni, new species, is described. The phylogenetics of Euceroptrinae, Parnipinae, Plectocynipinae and Thrasorinae are discussed and the hypothesis that early lineages of figitids attacked gall-inducing Hymenoptera is supported. Though branch support is still somewhat weak for inferring the precise branching order of the gall-inducer parasite lineages, the classification of problematic species is much improved.