Anacharoides stygius Benoit

Buffington, Matthew & van Noort, Simon, 2009, A revision of Anacharoides Cameron, 1904 (Hymenoptera, Figitidae) with a description of a new species, ZooKeys 20 (20), pp. 245-274: 271-272

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.20.124

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Anacharoides stygius Benoit


Anacharoides stygius Benoit 

Figs 1F, 4B and 7

Anacharoides stygius Benoit, 1956: 197–198 

Diagnosis. This species is immediately recognizable by the 5–7 well-developed strigae present on the mesoscutum (Fig. 1F); other species of Anacharoides  have, at most, a rugose-striate mesoscutum, lacking any distinctive strigae.

Redescription. Length = 2.80–3.00 mm, n=8; holotype length = 3.00 mm. F1 of female gradually expanded distally. F1 of male distinctly funicate, markedly kinked at midpoint, distinctly excavated. Length of F1 of female antenna 1.2–1.4 × F2. Ocellar groove present, simple ridge posterior to central ocellus. Lateral aspect of pronotum porcate antero-dorsally, antero-ventrally; gently carinate antero-medially; remainder of sclerite shagreened. Microsculpture of mesoscutum coriaceous over entire surface. Antero-admedial signum of mesoscutum present with 2–3 antero-admedial signum struts. Inter antero-admedial signum ridges present. Surface of mesoscutum strigate, with 5–7 distinct strigae radiating from mesoscutal keel. Shape of posterior mesoscutellar fovea rounded. Mesoscutal keel present along entire length of mesoscutum, punctate. Mesoscutellar fovea smooth with 6–7 carinae present. Mesoscutellum in lateral view with a distinct, strong hump. Length of posterior mesoscutellar fovea medium-long, reaching 1/4 to 1/3 length of mesoscutum. Lateral aspect of mesoscutum distal of notauli coriacous-rugose with strong carinae along entire length. Sculpture of notauli crenulate with transverse ridges posteriorly. Anterior margin of scutellar fovea rounded. Shape of notauli distinctly wider at posterior margin than anterior margin.

Distribution (Fig. 7). Sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar; from Quinlan (1979): Tanzania and Nigeria.

Material examined. HOLOTYPE. Holotypus [first label, pink]; Cyn 1–36 [second label]; Musée de Congo, Kiniati-Zobe, fin December 1915, R. Mayné [ Democratic Republic of Congo, end December 1915, third label]; Anacharoides stygius  sp. n. 1955, holotype, female, det. P.L.G. Benoit [fourth label, handwritten]. The holotype is a female, card mounted, in good condition; deposited in MRAC.

Additional material. ANGOLA: 7 mls. W Gabela , 16–18.III.1972, Southern African Exped. B.M. 1972-1 (1 female, BMNH)  . DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Massif Ruwenzori Kalonge , 1900 m, Kamusonge River, aff. Butahu, 8.I.1954, H. Synave 7026-31 (1 female, BMNH)  ; Mont. Hoyo , 1280 m, sur plantes basses, 7–15.VII.1955, P. Vanschuytbroeck 13274-309 (1 female, BMNH). MADA- GASCAR: Berenty Reserve, 80km W Ft. Dauphin, 25°00’S 46°18’E, 3.III.1994, M. Wasbauer, MT (1 female, UCD)GoogleMaps  ; Province Fianarantsoa , near Isalo National Park , in dry wash East of Interpretive Center, 7–22.IX.2002, 22°37.60’S, 45°21.49’E, collector: R. Harin’Hala, California Acad of Sciences, malaise trap in open area, elev 885 m, MA-02-11B-39 (1 male, CASC)GoogleMaps  ; Province Fianarantsoa , Parc National Ranomafana, radio tower at forest edge, elev 1130 m, 17–30.V.2003, 21°15.05’S, 47°24.43’E, collector: R. Harin’Hala, California Acad. of Sciences, malaise, mixed tropical forest, MA- 02-09B-61 (1 female, CASC)GoogleMaps  ; Bekily [19°48’00”S 045° 03’00”E] Reg. Sud. D’Lile, A. Seyrig, various dates, all deposited in NMHN: 7 females, 3males: III.1937GoogleMaps  ; 2 females: I.1937GoogleMaps  ; 1 females: II.1937; 2 females: IV.1937; 3 females: X.1936; 1 female, 1 male: VII.1936; 2 females, 1 male: IX 1938; 3 females, 2 males: X.1938; 1 female: III.1939.

Biology. Unknown.

Image collection: 465418.

Comments. The sculpture of the mesoscutum is a striking feature of this species, exemplified by Fig. 4B and Quinlan (1979: fig 64).


The distribution of Anacharoides striaticeps  and A. pallida  are by far the broadest of any species within the genus. Consistent with other species of Anacharoides  , A. striaticeps  and A. pallida  have been collected throughout sub-Saharan Africa; these species differ from their congeners, however, by their presence in Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen ( A. striaticeps  ) and the Canary Islands ( A. pallida  ). This distribution data is consistent with that of other figitids: the pycnostigmines Tylosema Kieffer  and Trjapitziniola Kovalev  were both recorded from beyond sub-Saharan Africa ( Tylosema  recorded from Algeria, Trjapitziniola  from the United Arab Emirates and Armenia ( Buffington and van Noort 2007; Kovalev 1995), and the eucoilines Gronotoma nitida Quinlan  , G. lana Quinlan  and Nordlanderia plowa Quinlan  occur in Africa as well as the Arabian Peninsula, India and southeast Asia (Buffington, pers. obsv.). Thus, the distribution of both A. striaticeps  and A. pallida  reinforces the notion that at least some African lineages of Cynipoidea are derived from Western Palearctic lineages. This hypothesis is further underscored by the relationship of Anacharoides  with the aspicerines Omalaspis  and Callaspidia  as reported in Buffington et al. (2007): (( Aspicera  + Paraspicera  ) Anacharoides  ( Omalaspis  + Callaspidia  )). Omalaspis  is known from India and Bangladesh (Buffington, pers. obsv.) and the western Palearctic ( Weld 1952); Callaspidia  is known throughout the western Palearctic and Nearctic ( Weld 1952). Thus, from a cladistic biogeography standpoint, a western Palearctic origin of Anacharoides  is likely.

The few host records reported here that are substantiated by host remains suggest species of Anacharoides  are parasitoids of syrphids. This biological attribute is consistent with other species of Aspicerinae  such as Callaspidia  that similarly have been recorded as parasitoids of Syrphidae  ( Weld 1952; Ros-Farré 2007). In fact, insects with aphidophagous larvae have been considered a loose host association for the entire Aspicerinae  , Anacharitinae  and Charipinae ( Ronquist 1999)  , though Buffington et al. (2007) found that this biological attribute likely evolved several times. For agroecosystems, species such as those in Anacharoides  may provide a degree of antagonism towards primary predators and parasitoids of pestiferous aphids. Further research into this group of parasitic wasps will hopefully yield more data on the nature of this interaction.


Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale


University of California, Davis














Anacharoides stygius Benoit

Buffington, Matthew & van Noort, Simon 2009

Anacharoides stygius