Spalangia fuscipes Nees, 1834

Gibson, Gary A. P., 2009, 2259, Zootaxa 2259, pp. 1-159 : 74-76

publication ID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Spalangia fuscipes Nees, 1834


11. Spalangia fuscipes Nees, 1834 View in CoL

(Figs 182–192)

Spalangia fuscipes Nees, 1834: 270 View in CoL ; ♀, ♁ syntypes lost ( Bouček 1963: 476). Type data: [ Germany].

Description. Female. Length = 1.6 mm. Legs, including tarsi, dark. Head in anterior view about 1.1x as high as wide; in dorsal view 1.8x as wide as long; in lateral view with malar space about 0.8x as long as eye height and about 1.2x eye width. Head capsule (Fig. 183) smooth and shiny except for setiferous punctures as follows: with complete median sulcus extending ventrally to elongate-triangular scrobal depression, otherwise upper face and parascrobal region with widely spaced, small but distinct punctures; scrobal depression, including interantennal region, coriaceous to coriaceous-granular except inclined lateral surface smooth with setae originating from pinprick-like punctures; gena rugulose-roughened near oral margin and with linear malar sulcus, but otherwise smooth except for setae; temple mostly smooth except for a few pinprick-like setiferous punctures. Antenna (Figs 187, 188) with scape about 6.7x as long as wide, the outer surface rugulose but inner surface more finely coriaceous-alutaceous; pedicel about 2.0x as long as apical width and about 2.5x as long as fu 1; funicle with fu 1 quadrate and subsequent segments transverse, with fu 2 about 1.5x as wide as long and fu 7 about 1.4x as wide as long; clava about 2.5x as long as wide.

Pronotal collar in lateral only very low convex behind neck (Fig. 184) and with circumpronotal band anterolaterally, but anteriorly smoothly rounded to neck; comparatively smooth without distinct furrow posteriorly but with transverse band of coriaceous sculpture in region of presumptive cross-line, and with setae originating from tiny bumps within at most exceedingly shallow and tiny depressions. Mesoscutal median lobe (Fig. 184) with anterior convex region shiny anteriorly and transversely alutaceous posteriorly; internotaular region smooth and shiny except for a couple of setae posterolaterally, but rugose anterolaterally adjacent to notauli and with narrow median band of rugose sculpture divided by an irregular median carina. Axillae (Figs 184, 186) smooth and shiny except for sparse setae. Scutellum (Figs 184, 186) low convex, shiny and sparsely setose laterally with setae originating from pinprick-like punctures; frenum (Figs 184, 186) with frenal line consisting of 3 or 4 punctures over about lateral quarter, the punctures largest laterally so as to form medially tapered line (Fig. 184). Mesopleuron (Fig. 185) shiny and comparatively finely sculptured as follows: pectal region smooth and bare except for 1 posteroventral seta; acropleuron longitudinally striate-carinate, the ridges extending posteriorly onto alar shelf; subalar scrobe not distinctly differentiated from upper mesepisternum, the combined region obliquely strigose anteriorly but more extensively and finely coriaceous-alutaceous posteriorly; episternal scrobe quite a distinct depression connected to subalar scrobe by a shallow, linear furrow; upper and lower mesepimeron very finely obliquely alutaceous, the lower mesepimeron somewhat more strongly sculptured posteroventrally; upper and lower mesepisternum differentiated by finely carinate transepisternal line extending to precoxal scrobe and line of 3 widely spaced setae adjacent to transepisternal line. Fore wing hyaline; mediocubital fold with line of 6 setae and basal fold with about 15 setae extending distinctly beyond level of most distal seta on mediocubital fold (Fig. 191). Propodeum (Fig. 186) with distinct postspiracular sulcus; callus mostly rugulose but smoother medially; plical region with narrowly V- shaped paramedian crenulate furrows delineating median carina, the carina in lateral view not distinctly convex; supracoxal bands separated from paramedian crenulate furrow; panels smooth and shiny.

Petiole (Fig. 186) with length not measurable accurately; punctate-reticulate between longitudinal carinae; with 2 long setae (at least on right side). Gaster shiny with Gt 2 and subsequent tergites finely coriaceous.

Male. Unknown from region (see Recognition).

Material examined. Nearctic (1♀). USA: California, Alameda Co., Coyote Hills Regional Park, junction Bayview & Meadowlark trails, 15.VI.04, R.L. Zuparko, ex sedge ( EMEC) .

Distribution. Presence of S. fuscipes in the Nearctic region is based on a single female from California (Fig. 182). Otherwise, the species is primarily Palaearctic (western Europe, northern Africa, and islands east of Morocco), though Noyes (2003) also lists India and Malaysia.

Figs 183–190. Spalangia fuscipes Nees. 183–187, Nearctic ♀: 183, head, frontolateral view, 184, mesosoma, dorsolateral view, 185, mesopleuron, 186, scutellum–petiole, dorsal view, 187, antenna (insert: fu 1 and fu 2). 188–190, Palaearctic: 188, ♁ petiole; 189, ♀ antenna; 190, ♁ antenna.

Figs 191–194. Basal cell of fore wing. 191 & 192, Spalangia fuscipes Nees : 191, ♀; 192, ♁. 193 & 194, Spalangia subpunctata Först- er: 193, ♀; 194, ♁.

Biology. Noyes (2003) reported S. fuscipes as a parasitoid of two genera of Cecidomyiidae and of Oscinella spp. , including the frit fly and O. pusilla (Meigen) (Chloropidae) . The single North American female was reared from “sedge”, which suggests a possible chloropid host.

Recognition. I include S. fuscipes as one of five species in the subpunctata species group as discussed under S. subpunctata . Peck (1963: 908) previously reported this Old World species as one of several “unverified Nearctic records of exotic species” in North America. Peck̓s listing is based on a catalog record of “ USA ” in Thompson (1958: 621), which is based on Richardson (1913). The only mention of S. fuscipes in Richardson (1913) is in a list of world species arranged by geographic region, in which S. fuscipes is listed under Europe (p. 516), and in a list of the hosts that does not include geographic reference (p. 517). Furthermore, the list of species and the key to species of Spalangia in North America given by Richardson (1913) does not include S. fuscipes . Consequently, previous reports of S. fuscipes in North America are erroneous and its reported presence here is tenuous based on only a single female I tentatively identify and describe above as S. fuscipes .

Bouček (1963) stated that he could not reliably distinguish some specimens of S. fuscipes from S. subpunctata . I am equally uncertain regarding reliable features to differentiate the two species, partly because I have seen too few specimens from Europe to confidently assess or supplement the observations of Bouček (1963). My concept of S. fuscipes in Europe is based on 1 USNM female and male ( Morocco), 1 ZSMC female ( Hungary) and male ( Switzerland), and 5 females and 5 males ( Czech Republic, Moldavian S.S.R., Slovakia) in the NMPC that were identified as S. fuscipes , plus 11 CNC females ( France, Italy, Spain) that I identify as S. fuscipes . As noted by Bouček (1963), females of S. subpunctata tend to be larger than those of S. fuscipes and have a comparatively longer flagellum with longer funicular segments. However, body size varies substantially in most Spalangia species and smaller individuals tend to have shorter or more transverse funicular segments than larger specimens of the same species. Females from Europe that I consider are S. fuscipes have fu 1 subquadrate and all subsequent funicular segments transverse, with fu 7 at least about 1.4x as wide as long (Fig. 189). They also have the fore wings extensively setose behind the submarginal vein, with the setae in the basal cell extending beyond the level of the most distal setae on the mediocubital fold. At least most specimens also have two or more setae laterally on the petiole (Fig. 188) and at least some have quite a distinct transepisternal ridge extending to or almost to the precoxal scrobe. However, because of the condition and the way some are mounted on cards I cannot be certain whether either basal cell or petiolar setation is diagnostic for all European S. fuscipes . Individuals of S. subpunctata have at most one seta laterally on the petiole and an evident transepisternal ridge only anteriorly below the distinctly strigose-rugose portion of the combined subalar scrobe and upper mesepisternum (Fig. 440). Most females I assign to S. subpunctata from North America also have at least fu 1 and fu 2 oblong and the more distal segments subquadrate rather than distinctly transverse (Fig. 444). However, some smaller females have shorter, more transverse funicular segments (Fig. 445) that resemble the flagellar structure of S. fuscipes (Fig. 189). I assign these females to S. subpunctata primarily because of their fore wing setation. They have only a single line of setae on the mediocubital fold and the setae in the basal cell do not extend proximally to the level of the most distal seta on the mediocubital fold (Fig. 193). The single female I identify as S. fuscipes from California has a flagellar structure (Fig. 187) and fore wing setal pattern (Fig. 191) similar to European S. fuscipes females as well as a fine but distinct transepisternal ridge extending to the precoxal scrobe (Fig. 185) and two setae on the right side of the petiole (Fig. 186). The single seta on the left side of the petiole likely results from one seta being broken. I have not seen any males from North America that I identify as S. fuscipes . The flagellum of European males of S. fuscipes are slightly more robust than that of North American males of S. subpunctata , but the funicular segments are often similarly oblong in both species (cf. Figs 190, 448) and some smaller North American S. subpunctata males have even shorter, quadrate funicular segments. As for several other Spalangia species , males of S. subpunctata often have more setae behind the submarginal vein than females. Some males have up to about 20 setae (Fig. 194), but as for females the setae on the upper surface of the wing in the basal cell form more or less of a single line (Fig. 194) rather than two quite distinct lines as in European S. fuscipes males (Fig. 192). At least most European S. fuscipes males also have more than one seta on the petiole. Additional morphological and molecular investigations are necessary to better clarify the species status of S. subpunctata and S. fuscipes and verify the presence of S. fuscipes in North America.


Essig Museum of Entomology














Spalangia fuscipes Nees, 1834

Gibson, Gary A. P. 2009

Spalangia fuscipes

Boucek, Z. 1963: 476
Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF