Dodogaster Rousse

Rousse, Pascal & Gupta, Ankita, 2013, Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Reunion Island: a catalogue of the local species, including 18 new taxa and a key to species, Zootaxa 3616 (6), pp. 501-547: 522-523

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Dodogaster Rousse


Genus Dodogaster Rousse  gen. nov.

( Fig. 11View FIGURE 11)

Diagnosis. Areolet of fore wing closed and large. Propodeum with a mid-longitudinal carina extending from base to mid-length. Areola closed, costulae complete. Tergum 1 with margins sub-parallel. Tergum 2 quadrate and wider than apex of tergum 1. Hypopygium mid-ventrally desclerotised. Ovipositor sheath setose all along.

Description. Head. Maxillary palpus slightly elongate. Mandible falcate, thin and long, abruptly narrowed from basal quarter, upper tooth twice longer than lower. Clypeus semi-circular. Tentorial pits deep. Face transverse. Inner margins of eyes parallel. Head regularly curved behind eyes in dorsal view. Flagellomeres 1–12 with placodes on two ranks. Mesosoma  . Slightly depressed dorso-ventrally. Pronotum with ventral and dorsal furrows present. Notauli indistinct. Propodeum with areola complete with costulae strong and a mid-longitudinal carina. Fore wing with areolet closed, quadrangular (2 /Rs very short), twice longer than high. Hind wing with 2 r –m present but almost indistinct. Apical margin of vannal lobe regularly rounded and setose all along. Metasoma. Tergum 1 rectangular, elongate, basally constricted. Tergum 2 sub-rectangular, transverse, wider than apex of tergum 1, its apical margin convex. Tergum 3 very short and semi-lunar in shape. Following tergites without dorsal sclerotisation. Hypopygium large, distinctly protruding beyond metasomal apex, mid-longitudinally desclerotised. Ovipositor sheath setose all along.

Comments. The appearance of the female genitalia place this genus in Mason’s (1981) “Microlepidoptera suite”, with Apanteles  group of genera. Dodogaster  shows some similarities with several genera (e.g. Choreas) but the combination of the features listed in its diagnosis clearly differentiate it from any of them. Furthermore, Dodogaster  shows morphological similarities with the small South African genus Exulonyx  : body dorso-ventrally depressed, maxillary palpi elongate, shape and carination of propodeum, shape of metapleuron, etc. On the other hand, Exulonyx  does not share some critical features of Dodogaster  like the medially desclerotised hypopygium, the presence of r – m on fore wing and the smoothly sculptured mesosoma  . Whether or not these features should be considered as synapomorphies or homoplasies is yet unclear, making the phylogeny of most Microgastrinae  still unresolved (Whitfield et al. 2002).

Etymology. In line with Kiwigaster (Fernández-Triana et al. 2011), the name refers to the Dodo bird, an endemic and emblematic figure of the Mascarene Islands.

Distribution records. Reunion.

Genotype. Dodogaster grangeri  sp. nov.