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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318099

Research Project: Systematics of Parasitic and Herbivorous Wasps of Agricultural Importance

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Revision of the genera Microplitis and Snellenius (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with a key to all species previously described from Mesoamerica

Author
item Fernandez-triana, J. - Canadian National Collection Of Insects & Ottawa Plant Laboratory, Entomology
item Whitfield, J. - University Of Illinois
item Smith, M. - University Of Guelph
item Kula, Robert
item Hallwachs, W. - University Of Pennsylvania
item Janzen, D. - University Of Pennsylvania

Submitted to: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2015
Publication Date: 7/20/2015
Citation: Fernandez-Triana, J., Whitfield, J.B., Smith, M.A., Kula, R.R., Hallwachs, W., Janzen, D.H. 2015. Revision of the genera Microplitis and Snellenius (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with a key to all species previously described from Mesoamerica. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift . 62(2):137-201.

Interpretive Summary: Parasitic wasps attack crop, forest, and horticultural pests that cause billions of dollars of damage to agricultural commodities and natural resources annually. The parasitic wasps treated in this paper attack caterpillars, including pests of sweet potato and tobacco. Increased knowledge of these wasps can help determine their impact as natural enemies of pest and potential pest caterpillars. Twenty-eight species from Costa Rica new to science are described, and a key to 33 species from Costa Rica is provided. Sequences from the DNA barcoding region are provided to facilitate identification of 25 species. This paper will be useful to scientists conducting research on caterpillars in the Western Hemisphere, as well as personnel responsible for controlling and regulating the distribution of pest and potential pest caterpillars.

Technical Abstract: The genera Microplitis and Snellenius (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, are revised. A total of 28 new species are described: 23 of Snellenius (the first record for Mesoamerica) and five of Microplitis. A key is provided to all new species and five species of Microplitis previously described from Mesoamerica. In ACG, all Microplitis were reared exclusively from Sphingidae, while all Snellenius were reared from Noctuoidea (Noctuidae and Erebidae). All of the wasp species with known host records are unambiguously specialists, parasitizing one or a few related hosts. Biological information (wasp cocoon and caterpillar hosts) in the Neotropical region seems to differ from similar data reported in previous works for the Oriental region but more studies on the world fauna are needed. Although the distinction between these two genera has been controversial, we consider that the available evidence, although not conclusive, suggests that these two genera are best kept as separate (based on the presence of at least a partial epicnemial carina in Snellenius, which is absent in Microplitis). The following 28 species, all authored by Fernández-Triana & Whitfield, are described as species nova: Microplitis adrianguadamuzi, M. alexanderrojasi, M. francopupulini, M. hebertbakeri, M. jorgehernandezi, Snellenius billburgeri, S. bobdressleri, S. donstonei, S. felipechavarriai, S. gerardoherrerai, S. irenebakerae, S. isidrochaconi, S. johnkressi, S. jorgecampabadali, S. jorgegomezlauritoi, S. josesarukhani, S. kerrydresslerae, S. lucindamcdadeae, S. luisdiegogomezi, S. mariakuzminae, S. mariamartachavarriae, S. phildevriesi, S. quiricojimenezi, S. robertoespinozai, S. sandyknappae, S. velvaruddae, S. vickifunkae, S. warrenwagneri.