Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/6/2010
Publication Date: 2/2/2010
Citation: Buffington, M.L. 2010. The description of Banacuniculus Buffington, new genus (Hymenoptera: Figitidae: Eucoilinae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 19:94-112.
Interpretive Summary: Leafmining flies are a principal pest group in several agriculture commodities, such as melons, tomatoes, and lettuce. These leafminers are especially troublesome in warmer regions of North America and the Pacific Islands, causing millions of dollars in losses annually. Because these flies feed inside of the leaf, typical pesticide applications fail to control them. Parasitic wasps are very effective at controlling these pests, but the identification of these wasps is very difficult. This paper describes a new genus and eight species (four new to science) in the New World that attack these leafmining flies. It provides information about relationships, host ranges, distribution, and a key to all species. In addition to taxonomists, biological control workers, agricultural extension agents, and ecologists will find this paper useful.
Technical Abstract: The new eucoiline genus Banacuniculus is described to accommodate several species previously placed in Ganaspidium: Banacuniculus hunteri (Crawford), new combination; B. merickeli (Miller), new combination; B. nigrimanus (Kieffer), new combination; B. utilis (Beardsley), new combination; these species are all redescribed. The following new species are described: Banacuniculus brautigani, B. beardsleyi, B. disensis, and B. strykeri. As is the case with Ganaspidium, species of Banacuniculus are parasitoids of some of the most pestiferous species of leaf-mining Agromyzidae (Diptera) and have been investigated for use as biological control agents of Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess). Additional phylogenetic, host range, and distributional data, and a key to all species are provided.