Spalangia alyxia, Gibson, 2009

Gibson, Gary A. P., 2009, 2259, Zootaxa 2259, pp. 1-159 : 23-27

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Spalangia alyxia

sp. nov.

1. Spalangia alyxia n. sp.

(Figs 22–38)

Type material. HOLOTYPE (♀, TAMU). “[ USA] TEXAS: Walker Co., Ellis Prison Unit , May 3, 1980, ex suction trap, D.A. Dean / CNCI, JDR-specm 2007-032”. Condition: point-mounted, entire but detached and glued to point are right antenna beyond scape, and left fore and hind wing.

PARATYPES (3♁, CNC). Nearctic. CANADA: Alberta, Aden, Gilchrist Ranch , 28.VI.56, O. Peck, swept from grass range. Manyberries , 4.VI.56, O. Peck. USA: Texas, [San] Patricio Co., Welder Wildlife Refuge, 4.xii.99, L. Masner .

Etymology. From the Greek word alyxis, meaning “an escape”, in reference to the holotype locality.

Description. Female. Length = 2.3 mm. Legs dark except knees and extreme apices of tibiae slightly lighter and basal 4 tarsal segments yellow. Head in anterior view about 1.1x as high as wide; in dorsal view about 1.7x as wide as long; in lateral view with malar space about 0.9x eye height and about 1.4x eye width. Head capsule smooth and shiny with distinct setiferous punctures as follows: with complete median sulcus extending ventrally to elongate-triangular scrobal depression (Fig. 23), otherwise upper face and parascrobal region with circular punctures separated by obviously more than own diameter except toward inner orbit and on parascrobal region toward lower inner orbit where more crowded, mostly separated only by ridges; scrobal depression (Fig. 23) with punctate-crenulate scrobes, but interantennal region and inclined lateral surface of depression mostly smooth; in lateral view lower face projecting conspicuously beyond torulus as acutely angled lobe lateral to torulus (Figs 22, 23); gena punctate without distinct malar sulcus but with fine parallel carinae forming groove in region of presumptive sulcus; temple with well separated circular punctures. Antenna (Fig. 29) with scape about 8x as long as greatest width, shiny and finely sculptured, the outer surface setose and finely strigose-alutaceous, but inner surface bare mediolongitudinally where more distinctly though finely longitudinally striate (Fig. 29); pedicel about 2.3x as long as apical width and about 1.3x as long as fu 1; funicle with fu 1 about 1.7x as long as wide; fu 2 very slightly longer than wide and subsequent segments subquadrate to slightly transverse; clava about 2.3x as long as wide.

Pronotal collar in lateral view quite flat, abruptly but only slightly raised above neck; with a short, vertical smooth bar interrupting crenulate circumpronotal furrow anterolaterally and anteriorly with a slender, smooth and shiny inclined surface above furrow (Figs 22, 23, 25), but not carinately margined anteriorly even though in dorsal view anterolateral margins quite distinctly ∧-like convergent; with distinct crenulate cross-line posteriorly (Figs 24–26) and with rugose region anteromedially, but mostly smooth and shiny medially and laterally with circular punctures, the punctures increasingly crowded toward side where fine, irregular lateral

Figs 22–29. Spalangia alyxia Gibson ♀. 22 & 23, head: 22, dorsolateral view, 23, frontolateral view; 24, pronotum and mesoscutum, dorsal view; 25, pronotum, dorsolateral view; 26, mesosoma, dorsolateral view; 27, mesopleuron; 28, frenum–petiole, dorsal view; 29, antenna.

carina differentiates dorsal surface of collar from smooth and shiny lateral surface above lateral panel (Fig. 25). Mesoscutal median lobe (Figs 24, 26) with exposed part of anterior convex region variably coriaceous to transversely strigose or punctate-coriaceous; internotaular region completely punctate-rugose without evident median carina. Axillae (Fig. 26) smooth and shiny except for sparse, pinprick-like setiferous punctures. Scutellum (Fig. 26) smooth and shiny except for a few pinprick-like setiferous punctures laterally; frenum (Figs 26, 28) differentiated by complete crenulate frenal line. Mesopleuron (Fig. 27) smooth and shiny except as follows: pectal region very inconspicuously and shallowly crenulate along anterior margin and bare except for 1 posteroventral seta; acropleuron punctate-rugulose anterodorsally but more distinctly longitudinally carinate posteriorly; alar shelf punctate-rugulose above longitudinal carinae extending from acropleuron; subalar scrobe punctate-rugulose with posterior margin angled anteroventrally so as to form acute angle with transepisternal line; episternal scrobe a short, almost vertical punctate-rugulose depression connected to subalar and precoxal scrobes by similar punctate lines; upper and lower mesepisternum differentiated by complete punctate-crenulate transepisternal line and adjacent line of setae (Fig. 27). Fore wing hyaline; mostly bare behind submarginal vein but with 3 or 4 setae in line on mediocubital fold and with a few setae distally in basal cell near parastigma. Propodeum (Figs 26, 28) with large depression surrounding spiracle but otherwise postspiracular sulcus not well differentiated from sculpture of callus or supracoxal band; callus completely punctate-rugulose similar to subalar region; plical region with only slightly widened paramedian crenulate furrows delineating median carina, but anterior-most cell obviously larger than more posterior cells; supracoxal band contiguous with paramedian crenulate furrows; propodeal panels smooth and shiny.

Petiole (Fig. 28) about 2.3x as long as medial width; punctate-reticulate between longitudinal, anteriorly irregular carinae; with several long setae laterally along length. Gaster with tergites smooth and shiny.

Male. Length = 1.7–2.9 mm. Antenna (Fig. 30) with scape about 6x as long as broad, the surfaces similarly alutaceous or outer surface sometimes distinctly coriaceous; pedicel up to about 1.3x as long as greatest width, but subglobular; flagellum with setae much shorter than width of respective segment; fu 1 about 1.9– 2.3x as long as wide and about 1.9–2.5x length of pedicel, and subsequent funicular segments up to about 1.5x as long as wide but at least slightly oblong. Otherwise similar to female except as follows. Legs with only basal 1 or 2 tarsal segments bright yellow and subsequent segments increasingly yellowish-brown to dark brown. Head in anterior view about 1.1x as wide as high; in lateral view (Fig. 30) lower face not projecting as conspicuous angulate lobe beyond torulus, malar space about 0.84–0.89x eye height and about 1.1x eye width, and gena sometimes without any indication of malar sulcus. Pronotal collar (Figs 31–33) with distinct crenulate cross-line and anterior punctate-rugose region similar to female, but anteriorly more smoothly rounded to neck and laterally sculpture often coarser without well separated circular punctures except posteromedially, the sculpture sometimes smoothly rounded to lateral panel without horizontal carina differentiating dorsal and lateral surfaces (Fig. 33). Mesoscutal median lobe (Figs 31–33) with anterior convex region more strongly sculptured than for female and internotaular region more distinctly reticulate-rugose. Mesopleuron (Figs 34, 35) with acropleuron sometimes completely longitudinally carinate, upper mesepimeron sometimes longitudinally carinate similar to acropleuron, subalar scrobe more distinctly reticulate-rugose (Figs 34, 35), and upper mesepisternum sometimes obscurely sculptured along transepisternal line. Fore wing hyaline; mediocubital fold and basal cell sometimes extensively setose over at least distal half. Petiole (Figs 36, 37) about 2.1–2.6x as long as medial width. Propodeum (Figs 36, 37) similar to female except callus more distinctly rugose because interstices narrower and anterior cells of paramedian crenulate furrows sometimes not differentiated in size from more posterior cells.

Distribution. Nearctic (Fig. 38).

Biology. Unknown.

Recognition. I include S. alyxia as one of six species in the nigra species group as discussed under S. nigra . The only known female of S. alyxia is differentiated from all other Spalangia by its lower face, which projects conspicuously as an acutely angled lobe under and beyond the torulus (Figs 22, 23). Within the nigra -

Figs 30–37. Spalangia alyxia Gibson ♁. 30, head, lateral view; 31, pronotum and mesoscutum, dorsolateral view; 32 & 33, thorax: 32, dorsal view, 33, dorsolateral view; 34 & 35, mesopleuron; 36 & 37, frenum–petiole: 36, dorsal view, 37, dorsolateral view.

group it also uniquely has an extensively punctate-rugulose alar shelf (Fig. 27) and the anterior convex region of the mesoscutal median lobe completely sculptured (Figs 24–26). The three males I identify as S. alyxia also have the anterior convex region sculptured (Figs 31–33) and the alar shelf is punctate-rugulose at least dorsally (Figs 34, 35), but the lower face does not project into an angulate lobe (Fig. 30). The pronotal collar of the Texas male does not have such distinct circular punctures and is more rugose laterally than for the female, but like the female has a rugose region anteromedially (Figs 31, 32) and laterally quite a distinct longitudinal carina that differentiates vertical and lateral portions of the collar (Fig. 31). Pronotal sculpture of the two males from Alberta is similar to either the Texas male or female, except both males from Alberta have the pronotal collar smoothly rounded to the circumpronotal furrow laterally (Fig. 33) and therefore similar to the pronotal collar of many S. nigra males (Fig. 309). The mesopleural sculpture of one of the Alberta males is also similar to many S. nigra males, having a large reticulate-rugose subalar scrobe and with the upper mesepisternum obscurely sculptured along the transepisternal line (Fig. 35).

Fig. 38. Distribution of Spalangia alyxia Gibson , S. attae Burks and S. dozieri Burks.


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