Parania geniculata (Holmgren, 1857)

Scaramozzino, Pier Luigi, Giovanni, Filippo Di, Loni, Augusto, Ricciardi, Renato & Lucchi, Andrea, 2018, Updated list of the insect parasitoids (Insecta, Hymenoptera) associated with Lobesiabotrana (Denis & Schiffermueller, 1775) (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae) in Italy. 2. Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae,, ZooKeys 772, pp. 47-95: 47

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Parania geniculata (Holmgren, 1857)


Parania geniculata (Holmgren, 1857)  Figure 1

Atrometus geniculatus  : Silvestri 1912: 296; Stellwaag 1928: 665.

Sinophorus geniculatus  : Hoffmann and Michl 2003: 3 (misinterpretation).

Italian distribution of reared parasitoids.

Trentino-South Tyrol: Silvestri 1912.


This species is widespread over most of the temperate Holarctic region. It is quite common in the Nearctics ( Yu et al. 2012), while in the Palaearctics its distribution is limited to the Western part only: Europe, Central Russia and Turkey ( Yu et al. 2012, Zwakhals and van Achterberg 2017).

Host range.

Yu et al. (2012) list 38 hosts for this species, 21 of which belonging to the family Tortricidae  , the remaining, in order of importance, to the families Pyralidae  (4 species), Gelechiidae  (3), Noctuidae  (2), Choreutidae  , Galacticidae  , Geometridae  , Lycaenidae  , Nolidae  , Sesiidae  and Psychidae  (all represented by a single species). Some economically important species are included, as the Oriental fruit moth Grapholita molesta  (Busck, 1916) and the codling moth Cydia pomonella  (Linnaeus, 1758), Argyrotaenia  spp., Rhyacionia  spp., Choristoneura  spp. ( Tortricidae  ), and the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis  ( Hübner, 1796) ( Crambidae  ). The report of Andricus kollari  (Hartig, 1843) ( Hymenoptera  Cynipidae  ) of Fulmek (1968) as host of P. geniculata  is not reliable.

In Italy, the species is reported on Paranthrene tabaniformis  (Rottemburg, 1775) ( Lepidoptera  Sesiidae  ) ( Dasch 1984, without indication of locality), on Gypsonoma aceriana  (Duponchel, 1843) ( Lepidoptera  Tortricidae  ) ( Haeselbarth 1989) and L. botrana  ( Silvestri 1912). The latter is not included in the list of Yu et al. (2012) and represents the only record for this species on EGVM.

Ecological role.

Silvestri (1912) reared a single male of this species from overwintering pupae of EGVM in San Michele (Trentino) in May.

Taxonomic notes.

Parania geniculata  is one of the smallest European species of the subfamily Anomaloninae  . It parasitizes mostly Tortricidae  ( Schnee 2008). The species was originally described by Holmgren (1857) as Anomalon geniculatum  and subsequently transferred to the genus Atrometus  Förster, 1869 by Thomson (1892). Silvestri (1912) has erroneously attributed the authorship of the species to Förster, who just described the genus Atrometus  ( Förster 1869). Then Townes (1971) transferred the species to Parania  Morley, 1913, with P. geniculata  as the only European species of this small, but widely distributed genus. Probably because of this nomenclatural inexactness, Hoffmann and Michl (2003) have misinterpreted the specimen obtained by Silvestri and put it in synonymy with Sinophorus geniculatus  Gravenhorst, 1829, which belongs to the subfamily Campopleginae  . The specimen figured by Silvestri (1912, fig. XXXIX, Figure 1A) clearly belongs to Anomaloninae  . After comparing the figure by Silvestri with specimens of Atrometus insignis  Förster, 1878 (a South European species that could be confused with Parania  ), and Parania geniculata  in his collection, Heinz Schnee recognized the specimens depicted by Silvestri as P. geniculata  , for the following reasons: “… small number of flagellomeres, small brachial cell, mesoscutum and scutellum somewhat longer, and slender hind tarsi"; on the contrary, “… Atrometus insignis  is therefore out of the question, because in the drawing the characteristic transverse furrow on posterior part of the mesoscutum is absent and the brachial cell is too small. Also the hind tarsi of P. geniculata  are much thinned, while they are strongly thickened in males of A. insignis  . Moreover, the hosts of A. insignis  are Zygaena  spp. ( Lepidoptera  Zygaenidae  ) and other host assignments are very likely wrong (Schnee in litteris)". We have searched for the specimen identified by Silvestri without finding it.