Venturia crassicaput (Morley)

Vas, Zoltán, 2019, Contributions to the taxonomy, identification, and biogeography of Casinaria Holmgren and Venturia Schrottky (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae), Zootaxa 4664 (3), pp. 351-364 : 360-362

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Venturia crassicaput (Morley)


Venturia crassicaput (Morley)

This species was described by Morley (1926) based on male sex only. The female sex has been unknown so far. I was able to match a female specimen to a male specimen identified as V. crassicaput , which were caught and collected together, during presumed copulation, and describe the female for the first time.

Material examined. One female and one male, Tanzania, Morogoro, Univ. Campus, 18–20.IV.1987, ♂ and ♀ in copula; leg. unknown; female specimen pinned, apex of both antennae damaged, male specimen card-mounted, Id. No. HNHM-HYM 111453, 111454, respectively.— Both specimens are deposited in the Hymenoptera Collection of HNHM (Budapest, Hungary) .

Diagnosis. Among the Afrotropical species V. crassicaput is most similar to V. jordanae Fitton due to both species have characteristic, buccate gena. Venturia crassicaput can be distinguished from that species by colouration (hind femur and tibia reddish, while in V. jordanae hind femur and tibia brown), and by its much longer ovipositor (ovipositor sheath more than twice as long as hind tibia, while in V. jordanae about as long as hind tibia).

Description. Female ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 ). Body length ca 11 mm, fore wing length ca 6.5 mm.

Head: Antenna with first flagellomere ca 3× as long as wide apically; preapical flagellomeres quadrate. Head transverse, granulate with dense, strong punctures, and with relatively long and dense silvery hairs. Ocular-ocellar distance slightly shorter than ocellus diameter, posterior ocellar distance ca 1.5× as long as ocellus diameter. Inner eye orbits weakly indented and weakly convergent ventrally. Gena (temple) rather buccate, about 0.7× as long as eye width in dorsal view, very slightly narrowed behind eye, almost parallel. Occipital carina complete, reaching hypostomal carina little before mandibular base; hypostomal carina normal, not elevated. Malar space short, about 0.5× as long as basal width of mandible. Face and clypeus almost flat in profile, very weakly separated. Clypeus relatively wide, apical margin very weakly convex, almost straight. Lower margin of mandible with narrow flange from middle toward base, upper mandibular tooth little longer than lower tooth.

Mesosoma: Mesosoma granulate with dense, strong punctures, and with dense, relatively long, silvery hairs. Lower corner of pronotum with weak transverse wrinkles. Mesoscutum weakly convex in profile, slightly longer than wide, notaulus not developed. Scuto-scutellar groove deep. Scutellum convex in profile, without lateral carina. Mesopleuron with few transverse wrinkles anterior to speculum, speculum smooth. Pleural and ventral part of epicnemial carina complete, strong; transversal part (i.e. part at the level of sternaulus running through the epicnemium to the ventral edge of pronotum) absent; pleural part obliquely bent to anterior margin of mesopleuron reaching it below its middle height; ventral part of epicnemial carina not elevated. Sternaulus indistinct. Posterior transverse carina of mesosternum complete. Metanotum about 0.4–0.5× as long as scutellum. Metapleuron without distinct juxtacoxal carina; submetapleural carina complete. Pleural carina of propodeum strong; propodeal spiracle large, oval, almost adjacent to pleural carina. Propodeum long, its apex reaching to middle length of hind coxa; propodeal carinae relatively weak. Area basalis very small, almost triangular, its basal width about equal to its length. Area superomedia granulate with rather weak transverse wrinkles and without distinct punctures, ca 2× as long as wide, lateral carinae convergent apically; area superomedia apically opened, confluent with area petiolaris. Costula (section of anterior transverse carina between lateromedian and lateral longitudinal carinae) distinctly before middle of area superomedia. Area petiolaris with transverse wrinkles. Fore wing with relatively large, petiolate areolet, second recurrent vein (2 m-cu) distal to its middle, posterior third of 3 rs-m distinctly curved toward M; distal abscissa of Rs straight; distal abscissa of M weakly pigmented; nervulus (cu-a) very weakly postfurcal, and very weakly inclivous; postnervulus (abscissa of Cu 1 between 1 m-cu and Cu 1a + Cu 1b) intercepted little above its middle by Cu 1a; lower external angle of second discal cell weakly acute. Pterostigma long and narrow. Hind wing with nervellus (cu-a + abscissa of Cu 1 between M and cu-a weakly inclivous, intercepted at about lower 0.3× of its length; discoidella (distal abscissa of Cu 1) connected to nervellus, spectral. Coxae finely granulate with distinct punctures. Hind femur ca 4.2× as long as high. Inner spur of hind tibia longer than outer spur, inner spur ca 0.4× as long as first tarsomere of hind tarsus. Tarsal claws longer than arolium, with few strong basal pecten.

Metasoma: Metasoma moderately compressed with relatively dense, short, whitish hairs. First tergite ca 4× as long as its apical width, without glymma; dorsomedian carina of first tergite indistinct; petiolus smooth, postpetiolus finely granulate; petiolus more than 3.5× as long as high. Suture separating first tergite from first sternite situated mid-height at basal third of first metasomal segment. Second tergite granulate, long, about as long as first tergite, 2× as long as its apical width; thyridium oval, small, its distance from basal margin of tergite more than 3× as long as its length. Third tergite about as long as its apical width, third and following tergites finely granulate with few scattered punctures. Posterior margin of fifth and following tergites medially concave, distinctly excised. Ovipositor very long, ovipositor sheath 2.8× as long as hind tibia, ovipositor shaft straight, tip distinctly, abruptly upcurved, dorsal preapical notch small, tip acute.

Colour: Antenna dark brown, scapus and pedicellus ventrally yellowish brown. Head black except palpi and mandibles yellow, mandibular teeth dark reddish brown. Mesosoma black except tegula yellow. Metasoma reddish except petiolus black, postpetiolus reddish brown, basal half of second tergite and basal third of third tergite blackish; ovipositor sheath dark brown. Wings hyaline, wing veins and pterostigma brown. Fore leg: coxa yellowish brown, basally darkened; trochanter and trochantellus yellow; femur reddish yellow; tibia and tarsus yellowish, apical tarsomeres darkened. Middle leg: coxa blackish, apically narrowly yellowish brown; trochanter and trochan- tellus yellow; femur reddish; tibia and tarsus reddish yellow, apical tarsomeres darkened. Hind leg: coxa blackish, apically narrowly yellowish brown; trochanter brownish; trochantellus yellowish brown; femur reddish; tibia reddish brown; tarsus brown.

Male: Antenna with 43 flagellomeres. Similar to female in all characters described above, except: preapical flagellomeres longer than wide; hind femur ca 4.4× as long as high; inner spur of hind tibia ca 0.5× as long as first tarsomere of hind tarsus; metasoma more strongly compressed; first tergite ca 4.5× as long as its apical width; second tergite 2.3× as long as its apical width; third tergite longer than wide; posterior margin of apical tergites medially not excised; flagellum ventrally reddish brown; postpetiolus blackish to bark brown; second and third tergites blackish, apically narrowly reddish. See also the original description ( Morley 1926), and photographs of the holotype male ( van Noort 2019).

Distribution. Currently known from Zimbabwe ( Morley, 1926) and Tanzania (first reported here).

Ecology. No host is known; might be a koinobiont endoparasitoid of lepidopterous hosts, similarly to most Venturia species with known hosts.

Remarks. It is worth noting that Polaszek et al. (1994) mentioned unidentified Venturia females (in comparison with V. jordanae ) from Africa which parasitize Sesamia spp. ( Noctuidae ) boring in rice; based on their short morphological remarks, especially on buccate gena and on the ovipositor length, it is possible that they refer to the then unknown female of V. crassicaput .


Hungarian Natural History Museum (Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum)