Syrphophagus Ashmead 1900

Zuparko, Robert L., 2015, Annotated Checklist of California Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera), Zootaxa 4017 (1), pp. 1-126: 50-51

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Syrphophagus Ashmead 1900


Syrphophagus Ashmead 1900 

Hosts. Diptera  : Chamaemyiidae  , Syrphidae  ; Hyperparasitoids on Hemiptera  : Aphalaridae  , Aphididae  , Psyllidae  via Hymenoptera  : Aphelinidae  , Braconidae  , Encyrtidae  , Figitidae 

aphidivorus  ( Mayr 1876: 712–713, 724) ( Encyrtus  )

Type. NMW

Distribution. W (Alameda, Alpine, Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Los Angeles, Marin, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba)

Host/habitat. As a hyperparasitoid: Acyrthosiphon gossypii  , A. malvae  , A. pisum  , Aphis craccivora  , A. cytisorum  , A. fabae  , A. gossypii  , A. medicaginis  , A. pomi  , Aulacorthum solani  , Brachycaudus persicae  , Brevicoryne brassicae  , Cavariella aquatica  , Diuraphis frequens  , D. noxia  , Eucallipterus tiliae  , Hysteroneura setariae  , Illinoia liriodendri  , Myzocallis coryli  , Myzus cerasi  , M. persicae  , Nearctaphis bakeri  , Periphyllus aceris  , Pterochlorides persicae  , Rhopalosiphoninus solani  , Rhopalosiphum maidis  , R. padi  , Sanbornia juniperi  , Schizaphis gramimum  , Sitobion avenae  , Therioaphis trifolii  , Toxoptera aurantii  , Uroleucon compositae  via Aphelinus asychis  , A. jucundus  , A. maidis  , A. mali  , A. sanborniae  , A. semiflavus  , A. varipes  , A. sp., Aphidius avenae  , A. ervi  , A. smithi  , A. sonchi  , A. sp. Binodoxys communis  , B. indicus  , Diaeretiella rapae  , Ephedrus lacertosus  , E. persicae  , Lysiphlebus dissolutus  , L. fabarum  , L. testaceipes  , Monoctonus caricis  , Praon exsoletum  , P. volucre  , P. sp., Trioxys complanatus  , T. curvicaudus  , T. pallidus  ; Agonoscena pistaciae  via Psyllaephagus pistaciae  , Heteropsylla cubana  via Psyllaephagus yaseeni  ; as a primary parasitoid: Leucopis obscura  , Sphaerophoria javana  ; NEW: Cacopsylla pyricola  ( EMEC), Cacopsylla tenuata  ( RLZC)

Remarks. The original description is founded on keys to females (page 712) and males (page 713) and a summary paragraph (page 724). This species had been placed in the genus Aphidencyrtus  in many early papers, and typically acts as a hyperparasitoid of aphids (and rarely, psyllids) but it has also been reported as a primary parasitoid of aphidophagous Diptera  . Unlike other aphid hyperparasitoids, S. aphidivorus  has a “dual” ovipositing behavior, ovipositing into both living and dead aphids ( Kanuck & Sullivan 1992). In California, this species has shown a preference for attacking aphids parasitized by Aphelinus  species rather than those attacked by Aphidiinae  ( Zuparko & Dahlsten 1995). Hoffer & Starý (1970) reported it as primary parasitoid of aphids, based on its apparent ability to reproduce over several generations in the absence of another primary parasitoid, but this view is not now commonly accepted. Silvestri (1909) reported that S. aphidivorus  oviposited into dead aphids parasitized by Aphidius brassicae  which in turn were parasitized by Alloxysta victrix  (= Allotria vittrix  var. infuscata  ), and thus the encyrtid might prove to be a tertiary parasitoid, but no such evidence has since been published. The host record of Trialeurodes vaporariorum  ( Hemiptera  : Aleyrodidae  ) cited in Gahan et al. (1928) is probably erroneous.

smithi Kamal 1926: 284 

Type. USNM

Distribution. N (Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Sierra  )

Host/habitat. Epistrophe emarginata  , Eupeodes nitens  , Neocnemodon rita  , Syrphus opinator  ; NEW: Xanthogramma  sp. ( UCRC)

Remarks. Mitchell (1962) categorized this as a “superparasite” of the pupal stage of N. rita  , presumably meaning a hyperparasitoid. However, it is more likely that, like other Syrphophagus  species, it is a primary parasitoid of Syrphidae  . Originally described from California, specimens of this species have been collected from Alaska and Canada as well ( CAS).


Remarks. Specimens that appear to represent an additional ten morphospecies have been collected in Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Imperial, Los Angeles, Marin, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties ( CSCA, CAS, EMEC, RLZC, SBMN, UCDC, UCFC, UCRC).


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


University of Newcastle


Essig Museum of Entomology


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


University of California, Riverside


California Academy of Sciences


California State Collection of Arthropods


R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


University of Central Florida












Syrphophagus Ashmead 1900

Zuparko, Robert L. 2015


Kamal 1926: 284