Aximopsis gabrielae Zhang, Gates and Campos, 2022

Campos-Moreno, Diego F., Gates, Michael W., Zhang, Y. Miles, Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela, Dyer, Lee A., Whitfield, James B. & Pozo, Carmen, 2022, Aximopsis gabrielae sp. nov.: a gregarious parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) of the skipper Quadrus cerialis (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) feeding on Piper amalago in southern Mexico, Journal of Natural History 56 (1 - 4), pp. 173-189 : 177-181

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2022.2025940

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Aximopsis gabrielae Zhang, Gates and Campos

sp. nov.

Aximopsis gabrielae Zhang, Gates and Campos , sp. nov.

( Figures 2–8 View Figure 2 View Figure 3 View Figure 4 View Figure 5 View Figure 6 View Figure 7 View Figure 8 )

Female. Holotype body length 2.4 mm.


Aximopsis gabrielae can be distinguished from other members of Aximopsis s.l. by the absence of horns on the vertex and mesodorsal pronotum ( Figures 2 View Figure 2 (a–b), 3(a)), sensu Gates et al. (2006), the clypeus ventrally protruding, the protuberant supraclypeal area forming a bump ( Figures 3 View Figure 3 (a), 4(b)) and the very short, cup-like funiculars in the female. The male has four funiculars very shortly tapering basally and not at all tapering apically, and a two-segmented clava, with a slight division near the tip ( Figure 8 View Figure 8 (a)), while all other known species have strongly tapering F1–F4, giving the appearance of a peduncle for the following segment.

Type material

Holotype ♀. Mexico, Campeche, Escarcega Forestal Reserve CONAFOR, 15 August 2018 18°36'26.8'' N, 90°48'14.4'' W (D.Campos – C.Pozo Leg.) Ex. Pupa Q. cerialis . USNMENT01558247 GoogleMaps . Paratypes: same locality as holotype (8♂, 7♀) (USNMENT01558218, 01558221, 01558290, 01558326, 01558422, 01558427, 01558433, 01558523, 01558547, 01558557, 01558586, 01558603, 01558609, 01558654, 01558659) (6 ♂♂, 50♀♀) (ECO-CH-AR 0596- 0651).

Colour. Black except for the following: flagellomeres, tegula, wing veins brown; scape, pedicel, apices of femora, tibiae, tarsi, ovipositor sheaths testaceous ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 (a)).

Head. Rectangular and 1.25× as wide as long in dorsal view, with umbilicate sculpture and bearing filiform, adpressed and sparse setae, those on lower face longer and directed downwards, the others shorter and directed upwards. Lower face strigose, the carinulae converging towards edge of oral fossa and extending above to antennal toruli, clypeus distinctly protruding, its surface forming a bump, mandible weakly tridentate ( Figure 3 View Figure 3 (a)). Malar sulcus absent, malar space 0.62× eye height. Genal carina present, malar sulcus forming a small asetose, imbricate band below eyes. Toruli positioned above lower ocular line, diameter of torulus 1.5× that of the intertorular space. Scrobal depression carinate laterally, with parallel edges, ventromedially carinate. Vertex imbricate, POL:OOL:LOL ratio 2.5:1.4:1. Head posteriorly with postgenal lamina, postgenal groove straight, fading about at level with upper edge of hypostomal carina, and slightly converging ventrally, ending far from genal carina. Subforaminal bridge transversely strigulose and with broad median strip of ornamentation. Posterior tentorial sulci present and deep ( Figure 4 View Figure 4 (a)).

Antenna. Ratio of scape (minus radicle):pedicel:anellus:F1:F2:F3:F4:F5:club 12:4:1:4.2:4:4: 3.8:3:8.8; pedicel chalice-shaped; funiculars very short with F2–F4 transverse and cupuliform; funiculars thus bearing a single row of longitudinal sensilla and two whorls of setae, shorter than relevant segment; clava clearly two-segmented ( Figure 3 View Figure 3 (b)).

Fore wing. Ratio of marginal:postmarginal:stigmal veins 1.8:1.2:1. Costal and basal cells and speculum bare except for basal and cubital folds with a line of setae, short setation on the distal parts of the wing ( Figure 6 View Figure 6 (a)).

Mesosoma . Mesosoma 1.33× as long as broad; pro- and mesonotum umbilicate, notauli complete, shallow ( Figure 6 View Figure 6 (b)); lateral prepectus triangular, smooth, sublateral prepectus with deep pit; ventral surface of prepectus with median tooth ( Figure 5 View Figure 5 (b), arrow). Adscrobal area with three long and erect setae. Mesopleuron strigose, epicnemium flat, entirely carinately delimited ( Figure 5 View Figure 5 (a)), anterior projection of ventral shelf elevated, narrowly projecting anteriorly ( Figure 5 View Figure 5 (b)). Ventral part of the femoral depression with a large areola ( Figure 5 View Figure 5 (b)). Metepimeron regularly umbilicate and bearing long, hair-like setae. Postscutellum with inverted V-like raised strip forming a very obtuse angle. Propodeum flattened medially, the relevant surface carinately delimited laterally, reticulate anteriorly and transversely strigulose laterally, followed by subquadrate adpetiolar areola; propodeum coarsely umbilicate laterally and bearing filiform, erect setae ( Figure 7 View Figure 7 (b)).

Leg. Oblique carina on procoxa forming a shelf for reception of lower head ( Figure 4 View Figure 4 (b), arrow), imbricate. Mesocoxa without lamella; metacoxa bare dorsally, metatibia with a row of adpressed setae, subequal to the width of the metatibia.

Metasoma. Petiole longer than metacoxa, cylindrical, rugose to alveolate, 0.4× as long as gaster in lateral view; dorsally with median carina leading to anterior teeth above the ‘canopener’ shaped articular area; no ventral transverse carina delimiting petiole from petiolar part of St1. Gaster elliptical in lateral view, narrowly tapering posteriorly ( Figure 7 View Figure 7 (a)), smooth, setose from Gt4. Gt4 much longer than other tergites, emarginate posteriorly in dorsal view.

Male. Length 2.2 mm. Colour largely similar to females, except antennae wholly black, and tibiae dark brown; sculpture as described for females ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 (b)). Antenna with four funiculars longer than wide, cupuliform, funiculars with single row of longitudinal sensilla and two or more rows of filiform, erect setae longer than their bearing segment. Clava twosegmented, tip of clava tapering ( Figure 8 View Figure 8 (a)). Gastral petiole in lateral view 0.65× as long as metasoma, cylindrical, weakly reticulate to smooth. Metasoma triangular in shape ( Figure 8 View Figure 8 (b)).

Variation. Female body length ranges from 2.2 to 2.5 mm, male from 2 to 2.3 mm.

Biology. A gregarious larval-pupal endoparasitoid of Quadrus cerialis ( Lepidoptera : Hesperiidae ) feeding on Piper amalago ( Piperaceae ). Caterpillars of Q. cerialis are abundant in August (unpublished data), the month when A. gabrielae parasitised one of the caterpillars collected.


Southern Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, in a forest reserve of semi-evergreen tropical forest. This species is probably widespread through the Neotropical Region, where Q. cerialis and P. amalago are distributed.


Aximopsis gabrielae is named in honour of Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud, who has dedicated most of her life to the study of the ecology and behaviour of parasitoids in south-eastern Mexico.