Spalangia attae Burks, 1969

Gibson, Gary A. P., 2009, 2259, Zootaxa 2259, pp. 1-159 : 28-30

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Spalangia attae Burks, 1969


2. Spalangia attae Burks, 1969 View in CoL

(Figs 38–47)

Spalangia attae Burks, 1969: 1–2 View in CoL ; holotype ♀ (USNM, examined). Type data: El Salvador, San Salvador, 2-25.VI.58, O. L. Cartwright; in debris ex nest of Atta mexicana (F. Sm.) View in CoL .

Description. Female. Length = 1.1–1.6 mm. Legs dark with knees sometimes lighter in color and basal 3 or 4 tarsal segments yellow. Head in anterior view (Fig. 39) about 1.3x as high as wide; in dorsal view about 1.6– 1.7x as wide as long; in lateral view (Fig. 40) with malar space about 1.0–1.1x eye height and about 1.4–1.6x eye width. Head capsule (Figs 39, 40, 47) dull and uniformly micropunctate-reticulate with setae originating from at most only very shallow and obscure depressions overlaying microreticulation (Fig. 39) except as follows: with complete, though variably distinct, median sulcus extending ventrally to elongate-triangular scrobal depression; scrobal depression, excluding inclined lateral surface, much more finely coriaceous-reticulate and variably smooth and shiny medially on interantennal region; gena at most with obscure linear malar sulcus. Antenna (Fig. 45) with scape about 5.8–6.6x as long as wide, the inner (Fig. 46) and outer surfaces uniformly setose and reticulate-rugulose; pedicel about 2.5–2.6x as long as apical width and about 2.1–2.6x as long as fu 1; funicle with fu 1 about 1.1–1.3x as long as wide and subsequent segments quadrate to variably distinctly transverse; clava about 2.1–2.3x as long as wide.

Pronotal collar in lateral view only very low convex behind neck (Fig. 40), without distinct circumpronotal band anterolaterally and anteriorly smoothly rounded to neck (Figs 41, 42); smooth and shiny near posterior margin but otherwise micropunctate to micropunctate-reticulate, the sculpture sometimes finer or shallower than on head, and uniformly setose over sculptured region except mediolongitudinally. Mesoscutal median lobe (Figs 41, 42) with anterior convex region variably coriaceous to coriaceous-granular or strongly alutaceous; internotaular region more distinctly reticulate-rugose medially (Fig. 43). Axillae (Fig. 43) smooth and shiny except for pinprick-like setiferous punctures. Scutellum (Fig. 43) smooth and shiny except for sparse pinprick-like setiferous punctures laterally; frenum at least differentiated by 2 or 3 distinct punctures laterally and sometimes by virtually complete, though shallow crenulate line (Fig. 43), and then sometimes finely coriaceous adjacent to frenal line. Mesopleuron (Fig. 44) completely sculptured as follows: pectal region coriaceous and bare except for 1 posteroventral seta; acropleuron longitudinally carinate, the carinae extending posteriorly onto alar shelf; subalar scrobe a more or less vertical, longitudinally crenulate to reticulate-crenulate depression; episternal scrobe a subcircular or somewhat vertical punctate to crenulate-reticulate depression connected to subalar scrobe and reticulate-rugulose precoxal scrobe by variably distinct, linear episternal and precoxal sulci; upper and lower mesepimeron mostly coriaceous to obliquely alutaceous but upper mesepimeron sometimes coriaceous-granular ventrally and lower mesepimeron often quite smooth and shiny dorsally; upper and lower mesepisternum differentiated only by setal line rather than distinct transepisternal line, the upper mesepisternum at least very finely coriaceous but shiny similar to mesepimeron (Fig. 44). Fore wing hyaline; mediocubital fold with 1–4 setae and basal cell/fold with 3–5 setae distally. Propodeum (Fig. 43) with distinct postspiracular sulcus; callus variably extensively reticulate-rugose anteriorly and micropunctate-reticulate posteriorly or quite smooth and shiny posterior to level of spiracle; plical region with only slightly widened paramedian crenulate furrows delineating median carina, and either with anterior-most cells not differentiated in size from more posterior cells or with irregular sculpture anteriorly (Fig. 43); supracoxal band variably wide and either contiguous with paramedian crenulate furrows or separated by distinct smooth band at nucha; propodeal panels smooth and shiny except usually for small anterior region of coriaceous sculpture adjacent to paramedian crenulate furrows (Fig. 43).

Petiole (Fig. 43) about 1.8x as long as medial width; microreticulate between longitudinal carinae; with or without 1 short seta anterolaterally. Gaster with Gt 1 smooth or with only extremely obscure coriaceous sculpture and Gt 2 and Gt 3 very finely coriaceous.

Figs 39–47. Spalangia attae Burks. 39 & 40, ♀ head: 39, anterior view, 40, lateral view; 41, ♀ pronotum, dorsolateral view; 42, ♁ pronotum, posterodorsal view; 43, ♀ mesosoma, posterodorsal view; 44, ♁ mesopleuron; 45, ♀ antenna; 46, ♀ scape, inner view; 47, ♁ antenna.

Male. Length = 1.5–1.6 mm. Antenna (Fig. 47) with scape about 5.2–5.6x as long as wide; pedicel about 2.6x as long as wide; flagellum with setae much shorter than width of segment; funicle with fu 1 about 1.9x as long as wide and 0.7x as long as pedicel, and subsequent funicular segments very slightly longer than wide to subquadrate apically. Otherwise similar to female except as follows. Head in anterior view about 1.1x as high as wide; in lateral view malar space about 0.7–0.8x eye height and about 1.0–1.1x eye width. Pronotal collar (Fig. 47) reticulate-punctate medially to more distinctly coriaceous or partly smooth and shiny laterally, but sculpture obviously finer than on face. Fore wing with slight brownish tinge and more extensively and conspicuously setose behind submarginal vein. Petiole about 2.2x as long as medial width.

Material examined. Nearctic (1♀). USA: Texas, San Antonio, 16.I.35, E. V. Walter, ex nest of Atta texana , taken 7 ft. below surface (1♀ USNM) .

Neotropical (7♀, 2♁). COSTA RICA : Carta, Monumento Nacional Guayabo, A.C. Amistad, 1100 m., VI.94, G. Fonseca (1♀ INBIO) . Heredia, Pto. [Puerto] Viejo, OET-La Selva , 100 m., I.93, Hanson & Godoy (1♀ MZCR) . Puntarenas Prov., Res. Biol. Carara, Est. Quebrada Bonita , 50 m. — I.94, M. Guzmán (1♁ INBIO) ; II.93, II.94, VII.92, J.C. Saborio (4♀, 1♁ INBIO) . EL SALVADOR (♀ holotype) .

Distribution. From about 30ºN in southern Texas through Central America ( Costa Rica , El Salvador) (Fig. 38).

Biology. Unknown, but apparently a parasitoid of some Diptera associated with ant nests. The holotype was taken along with other insects from debris of a nest of the leaf-cutter ant, Atta mexicana (Smith) and another female was taken from a next of Atta texana (Buckley) ( Hymenoptera : Formicidae ).

Recognition. I include S. attae along with S. rugosifrons , S. stictocyla and S. stictocephala in the attae species group based on the species having the head at least partly micropunctate-reticulate (Figs 39, 40, 423, 424, 429, 430) to reticulate-rugose (Figs 400, 401). In other New World Spalangia the head is variably smooth and shiny with pinprick-like (e.g. Figs 148, 209) to distinct, though sometimes very crowded punctures (e.g. Fig. 299). Spalangia attae is most similar to S. stictocephala and S. stictocyla because the head of all three species is partly or completely micropunctate-reticulate (cf. Figs 39, 423, 430), whereas that of S. rugosifrons is more rugose (Figs 400, 401). The former three species are differentiated from each other primarily by different sculpture patterns of the head and pronotal collar. Spalangia attae has both the head and pronotal collar similarly micropunctate-reticulate, whereas S. stictocephala and S. stictocyla have the head variably extensively micropunctate-reticulate and the pronotal collar coriaceous with the setae originating from obscure bumps or depressions. The head is completely micropunctate-reticulate in S. stictocephala (Figs 423, 424) similar to S. attae (Figs 39, 40), whereas S. stictocyla has the upper face and a small region behind the eye coriaceous (Figs 429, 430). It is certainly possible that these and other minor differences given in the key and respective descriptions of the three putative species represent intraspecific variation of a single species whose head and pronotal sculpture is highly varied. However, additional specimens are required to determine this confidently (see further under S. stictocyla ).


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


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Spalangia attae Burks, 1969

Gibson, Gary A. P. 2009

Spalangia attae

Burks, B. D. 1969: 2
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