Pholetesor caloptiliae, Whitfield, 2006

Whitfield, James B., 2006, Revision of the Nearctic species of the genus Pholetesor Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Zootaxa 1144 (1), pp. 1-94: 59-61

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1144.1.1

publication LSID

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Pholetesor caloptiliae

new species

Pholetesor caloptiliae   , new species

( figs. 13 View FIGURES 9–16 , 27 View FIGURES 27–32 , 54 View FIGURES 39–59 , 74 View FIGURES 72–78 )

Holotype female. Body length 2.3 mm, forewing length 2.7 mm.

Head. Frons 1.3x broader at midheight than medially long, shallowly but distinctly and finely punctate; inner margins of eyes very weakly converging towards clypeus. Antennae dark brown throughout, slightly longer than forewing; all but distal 4 flagellomeres with 2 ranks of placodes; flagellomere 2 3.5x longer than broad; flagellomere 14 1.9x longer than broad. Palpi whitish­yellow throughout visible portions. Head in dorsal view 1.8x broader than long down middle.

Mesosoma   . Mesoscutum evenly, very finely and shallowly punctate, with intervening microsculpture producing dull metallic sheen; width just anterior to tegulae slightly greater than that of head. Pronotal furrow broad, shiny, with only peripheral suggestions of crenulation. Scutoscutellar scrobe composed of 8–10 (irregularly confluent) deep, narrow pits, essentially straight medially. Scutellar disc dully shining, with shallow, fine punctation; shape strongly triangular, weakly convex, slightly longer than anteriorly broad. Metanotum slightly overlapped medially by strongly raised scutellum; strongly emarginate mesad sublateral setiferous projections but retraction from scutellar phragma nearly obscured by encroachment of scutellum, especially medially; sublaterally irregularly sculptured with carinulae. Propodeum 1.9x broader than maximum length, anteriorly rugulopunctate, posterolaterally shiny with widely spaced irregular carinulae, posteromedially with carinulae diverging forward obliquely from nucha; posterolateral corners set off from anterior portions by more or less distinct costulae.

Legs. Front and middle legs entirely light yellow­brown except terminal tarsomeres. Hind coxae mostly dark brown, apically lighter yellow­brown; remainder of hind legs pale yellow­brown except infuscate apical dorsal spot on femora, apical 0.5 of tibiae and entire tarsi. Spines on outer faces of hind tibiae about 35 in number, all of one size and pale yellow­brown. Inner apical spurs of hind tibiae 1.6x as long as outer, about half as long as hind basitarsi.

Wings. Forewing venation pigmented evenly pale brown except slightly darker 2r and 1Rs and dark brown C+Sc+R, stigma and R1; macrotrichia darkly pigmented, imparting faint infuscation to wing membranes. 2r weakly arched, subequal in length with 1Rs, meeting it at distinct 155­degree angle. R1 1.2x as long as stigma, aboux 7x as long as distance from its distal tip to end of 3Rs fold along wing edge. Stigma 2.8x longer than broad, the 2 posterior edges nearly straight. Hindwing with vannal lobe evenly convex, fringed densely with hairs of moderate length.

Metasoma. Tergite I 1.3x as long as posteriorly broad, strongly arched anteriorly along longitudinal axis, posteriorly broadening slightly over most of length; apical corners weakly rounded; surface strongly rugose throughout except broad, short anteromedial depression. Tergite II broadly trapezoidal, 2.4x broader posteriorly with weakly rounded anterolateral corners; surface strongly rugose throughout; posterior breadth only 1.3x posterior breadth of tergite I. Tergum III mostly covered dorsally in strong rugose sculpture, posterolaterally becoming smooth as in succeeding terga, slightly broader medially than tergite II and separated from it by crenulate furrow. Laterotergites light yellow­brown, nearly hidden in dorsal view. Posterior terga unsculptured, overlapping, partially telescoped in under anterior 3. Hypopygium evenly sclerotized to medial fold, ventrally with evenly scattered long hairs, in holoype somewhat puckered but apparently about 1.2x as long as hind basitarsi (2/3 as long as hind tibiae). Ovipositor sheaths slender, about same length as hypopygium, hairy portions broadest at about 2/3 of length, slightly narrowing thereafter to bluntly rounded/pointed tips. Ovipositor strongly decurved, long and exserted to a length about equal to that of hind tibiae.

Males. Antennae about 1.2x as long as forewing, with apical flagellomeres more slender than in female (flagellomere 14 2.3x as long as broad); only the distal 3 flagellomeres with only a single placode band. Front and middle coxae and mid and hind femora usually darker than in female. Propodeal sculpturing similar to female but costulae usually less distinct. Metasomal tergite I parallel­sided to weakly narrowing posteriorly, with nearly straight sides, approximately twice as long as broad. Tergite II less transverse than in female (about 1.9x broader posteriorly than medially long)—otherwise similarly sculptured and shaped to female. Tergum III similar in length and sculpturing to that of female, but sometimes less strongly sculptured. Wings with colorless macrotrichia, imparting a milky appearance to wing membranes.

Variation. Females: body length 1.9–2.5 mm, forewing length 2.1–2.7 mm. Males: body length 2.1–2.5 mm, forewing length 2.4–2.6 mm. The males appear to be more variable in coloration and metasomal tergite shape than the females (as occurs in the other ornigis­group species also). One female from New York reared from Caloptilia   on Rhus typhina   L. is much smaller than the others (hence the appearance from the above size ranges that the females may tend to be smaller), but is otherwise similar in diagnostic features. I have no male with which to associate it from the same series.

Final instar larva. Labium with 7 pairs of setae; maxillae each with 2 setae; mandibles set with 16–18 long teeth (not counting bifid tip).

Cocoons. Large (3–4 mm), elongate­oval, capsule­like, with threads attached at the ends, opaque­whitish, with very narrow translucent medial band (0.1 or less of total length), suspended within the shelter of the host.

Material examined. Holotype female: ONTARIO. St. Lawrence Isl. Nat. Pk. , McDonald Isl., 16­VII­1976 code 4­4271 (Reid)   . Paratypes: CONNECTICUT. East River , 1 female, 3 males, 14­VII­1915, ex Gracilaria burgessiella   on Cornus candidissima (C.R. Ely)   , 2 females, 2 males, 23­VII­1914, ex Gracilaria burgessiella (C.R. Ely)   , 1 female, 28­VII­1912, ex Graciallaria burgessiella   on Cornus (C.R. Ely)   , 1 male, 16­VIII­1912, ex Gracilaria coroniella (C.R. Ely)   , 1 male, 3­IX­1914, ex Gracilaria coroniella (C.R. Ely)   , 1 female, 10­VII­1911, ex Gracilaria sp.   (C. R. Ely), 2 females, 2 males, 12­20­VII­1912, ex Gracilaria rhoifoliella (C.R. Ely)   . INDIANA. Bedford, 1 female, 1­VIII­1932, reared from leaf miner on Rhus corallina (G.E. Marshall)   . ONTARIO. Normandale, 1 female, 12/ 14­VIII­1956 (Freeman & Lewis). St. David's , 1 female, 16­IX­1935 (W.L. Putnam). St. Lawrence Isl. Nat. Park, Grenadier I. Centre, 1 female, 7­III­1975 (Sigler), 1 female, 21­ VIII­1975 ( R. J. McMillan), 1 female, 11­VIII­1975 (E. Sigler). Vineland Station, 1 female, 2­VI­1936, ex Gracilaria sp.   on C. paniculata (W.L. Putnam)     .

Holotype deposited in CNC; paratypes in CNC, USNM collections   . Additional material in University of Kansas and author's collections.

Other material: NEW YORK. St. Lawrence Co., Oak Point, 1 female, ex Caloptilia   on Rhus typhina, JAP   no. 83H2 (D.L. Wagner). OHIO. Barberton, 1 female, 13­VIII­1936 (L.J. Lipovsky), 1 female, 23­VIII­1936 (L.J. Lipovsky).

Hosts. Caloptila burgessiella (Zeller)   and C. coroniella (Clemens)   on Cornus spp.   , C. rhoifoliella (Chambers)   on Rhus spp.  

Comments. This species is extremely similar to Pholetesor ornigis (Weed)   and the palearctic P. nanus (Reinhard)   , but the ovipositor sheath shape, ovipositor length, broad first metasomal tergite, large size (usually) and long metacarp should suffice to distinguish it from both species. There is some tendency in P. ornigis   for large individuals to have broader first metasomal tergites and coarse posterior propodeal sculpturing as in this proposed new species, but I have found no large individuals of P. ornigis   that approach P. caloptiliae   in all of the above characters. It remains to be seen whether the two are separate biological species or simply host­associated morphotypes. This species is referred to as Pholetesor sp. 1   by Whitfield and Wagner (1988).


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History