Waldheimia saurauia Smith & Nishida

Smith, David R. & Nishida, Kenji, 2019, A new genus and three new species of Neotropical sawflies (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) from Costa Rica, with host plants and life history notes, Journal of Hymenoptera Research 72, pp. 45-65: 45

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Waldheimia saurauia Smith & Nishida

sp. nov

Waldheimia saurauia Smith & Nishida  sp. nov Figs 1-8View Figures 1–8, 9-15View Figures 9–15


Head black; legs with coxae, trochanters, and femora orange, tibiae and tarsi black; wings yellow with apex from stigma black; abdomen orange with apex black; lancet ( Fig. 5View Figures 1–8) elongate, gradually tapering from base to apex; annuli straight.


Female ( Fig. 1View Figures 1–8): Length 8.5 mm. Antenna, head, and mouthparts black. Thorax orange with large black spot on mesoscutal middle lobe. Legs with coxae, trochanters, and femora orange, tibiae and tarsi black. Abdomen orange with apical three segments and sheath black. Forewing yellow infuscated with apex from base of stigma black; veins yellow in yellow part, black in black part; stigma mostly black with extreme base orange. Hindwing yellow with apex from about apex of stigma black; veins yellow in yellow part, black in black part; stigma mostly yellow. Head ( Figs 1-3View Figures 1–8): Antenna long, slender, 2.4 × head width; 1st and 2nd antennomeres each longer than broad; 3rd antennomere subequal in length to 4th; 5th antennomere 0.7 × length of 4th; apical 4 antennomeres about subequal in length, together about 1.3 × length of 3rd; apical 4 antennomeres with elongate, pale sensory pits the length of each antennomere except for the basal quarter of the 6th. Malar space about as broad as diameter of front ocellus. Lower interocular distance 1.1 × eye height. Distances between eye and lateral ocellus, between lateral ocelli, and between lateral ocellus and hind margin of head as 1.0:0.7:0.8; postocellar area 1.6 × broader than long. Thorax: Hind basitarsus 1.3 × longer than remaining tarsomeres combined; inner hind tibial spur 0.3 × length of hind basitarsus. Abdomen: Sheath uniformly slender in dorsal view, with short, stiff hairs; in lateral view ( Fig. 4View Figures 1–8) straight above, rounded below. Lancet ( Fig. 5View Figures 1–8) long, gradually tapering from base to apex, annuli parallel and straight; with about 25 serrulae, serrulae flat with 4 or 5 small subbasal teeth.

Male: Length, 8.0 mm. Color and structure similar to holotype. Genitalia in Figs 7View Figures 1–8, 8View Figures 1–8; harpe elongate, about 2.3 × longer than broad; valviceps of penis vale rounded at apex, with dorsal lobe.

Larva ( Figs 12-15View Figures 9–15): Last feeding instar 15-25 mm long. Head black, width ca. 2.5 mm. Body white, second thoracic segment to abdominal segment 7 greenish internally; thoracic legs white, apically yellowish, claws black. Abdominal segments 1-7 with yellow tint more visible along spiracular to proleg area; anal plate white (n = 20).

Type material.

Holotype female, labeled "COSTA RICA, Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Estación Biológica Monteverde, 1530 m, 10°19'08.5"N, 84°48'32.0"W, larvae coll. 26.ix.2017, adult 14.i.2018, Kenji Nishida ( USNM). Paratypes: Same data as for holotype (1 ♀ MZUCR); same data as for holotype except middle to late instar larvae collected 8.vii.2018, cocoons spun ± 20.vii.2018, adult emergence 9-12.ix.2018, on Saurauia montana  , Kenji Nishida (3 ♀, MZUCR, USNM); same except adult emergence 3.ix.2018 (2 ♂, USNM MZUCR); Est. Biol. Las Alturas, 1500m, Coto Brus, Prov. Punt., COSTA RICA, M. Ramirez, Set 1991, L-S-822500, 591800; Costa Rica, INBIO CR1000, 619428 (1 ♀, INBio); Est. La Casona Res. Biol., Monteverde, 1520m, Prov. Punt., COSTA RICA, N. Obando, Dic 1990, L-N-253250, 449700; Costa Rica, INBIO, CRI000, 664810 (1 ♀, INBio); Quebrada Segunda Ref. Nac. Fuana Silv. Tapanti, 1150m, Prov. Cartago, Costa Rica, G. Mora, Abr 1992, L-N 194000, 560000; Costa Rica, INBIO, CR1000, 727881 (1 ♀, INBio).


One paratype is about 8.5 mm long, the others are about 10.0 mm long. One paratype has the mesoscutal middle lobe, spot on the posterior corner of the mesoscutal lateral lobes, center of mesoscutellum, upper two-thirds of mesepisternum and mesepimeron blackish. Another paratype has similar black marks on the mesonotum, but the underthorax is completely orange.


The name is the generic name of the host plant.

Host, life history.

Larvae feed on Saurauia montana  ( Actinidiaceae  ). First to last feeding instar larvae were found on 45 cm to ca. 3 m tall trees growing along open trails contiguous to valley or stream ( Fig. 10View Figures 9–15) (n = 10 trees, 8 cohorts/groups). Eggs are unknown, but remains of eggs (egg shells) were found. Swellings from oviposition were noticed along the primary and secondary veins of young and soft leaves near apical shoots (n = 7) ( Fig. 11View Figures 9–15). Each swelling was ca. 2.5 x 1.5 mm. By dissecting the swelling, a single egg shell (or a dead larva) was found in each. Apparent oviposition scar as old hole of ca. 0.5 mm was observed on the side of the secondary veins on underside leaf (abaxial) (n = 30). The first instar larva in the egg apparently made an exit orifice of ca. 0.5 mm on upperside leaf (adaxial) (n = 30). Early to late stage first instar were feeding gregariously, skeletonizing leaf along or near the oviposition site on abaxial ( Fig. 12View Figures 9–15). Thirty and 33 first instar larvae were counted in each single cohort (n = 2). Also under natural conditions in the field, early to middle instar larvae were intermingled and resting together (n = 1 group) ( Fig. 13View Figures 9–15). Middle to late instars were also found together resting and feeding on abaxial of relatively young leaves located at apical growth of the plant (n = 4 groups). The larvae did not feed on the secondary veins of mature, hard leaves, but readily fed on the secondary veins of relatively young leaves. Under natural and rearing conditions, last feeding instars were scattered along different leaves, found either solitary or in groups of two to four larvae (n = 30 larvae). Neither early nor late instar larvae fed on leaf buds or mature old leaves. The last feeding instar larvae molted and went under soil. Soil-covered ovoid cocoons (11-13 x 6-7 mm, n = 7) were located at the bottom surface of the dioramic aquarium. A parasitoid, an unidentified fly (n = 1) ( Diptera  : Tachinidae  ), emerged from a cocoon of W. saurauia  .

Summary of collecting and rearing records is a follows: Middle to large instar larvae 26.xi.2017, most went into soil 4.xii.2017, adult emergence 4.i.2018; middle to late instar 8.vii.2018, cocoon spun 20.vii.2018, adult emergence 9-12.ix.2018; first instar 6.viii.2018, late to last feeding instar 20.ix.2018, went into soil 25. ix– 6.x.2018. First instar larvae 25.ix.2018, middle instar larvae 15.x.2018. Early instar larvae 10.x.2018.


At adult stage, this species is almost identical in color to Waldheimia laeta  (Cameron) known from Central America and northern South America, but W. laeta  usually has the clypeus white, areas around the antennal insertions orange, the mesonotum entirely orange, the apical four antennomeres shorter with the 6th and 7th only about as broad as long, the sheath shorter and rounded at its apex and by the lancet. The lancet of W. laeta  ( Fig. 6View Figures 1–8) is elongate but abruptly tapering to a rounded apex and has slanted annuli.

The host plant, Saurauia montana  , is a relatively small tree 3-10 m high, leaves become up to ca. 8 by 30 cm, and distributed between Honduras and Panama. In Costa Rica, it has been recorded from 200-2600 m elevations on both Pacific and Atlantic (Caribbean) slopes, and in Monteverde area it is found commonly up to 1550 m in open habitat ( Haber et al. 2000, Missouri Botanical Garden 2018).

Hosts for other Waldheimia  are Cissus pseudosicyoidea  Croat ( Vitaceae  ) for W. fascipennis  (Norton) ( Smith and Janzen 2003b); Cissus rhombifolia  Vahl ( Vitaceae  ) for W. suturalis  (Cameron) ( Smith and Janzen 2003b); Cissus alata  Jacq ( Vitaceae  ) for W. laeta  (Cameron ( Smith et al. 2013)), Davilla nitida  (Vahl) Kubitzki ( Dilleniaceae  ) for W. lucianocapellii  Smith ( Smith et al. 2013); Hamelia patens  Jacq. ( Rubiaceae  ) for W. interstitialis  (Cameron) ( Kimsey and Smith 1985, Smith and Janzen 2003b).