Cotesia sp, Cameron, 1891

Fagan-Jeffries, Erinn P. & Austin, Andrew D., 2020, Synopsis of the parasitoid wasp genus Cotesia Cameron, 1891 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) in Australia, with the description of seven new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 667, pp. 1-70: 61-64

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scientific name

Cotesia sp


Cotesia sp   . nr C. icipe Fernández-Triana & Fiaboe, 2017

Figs 9A View Fig , 33 View Fig


This species, which is likely C. icipe Fernández-Triana & Fiaboe, 2017   , can be separated from all other species of Cotesia   currently described from Australia and Papua New Guinea by the sculptured area on the centre of the medial band of the scutellar disk and T1 parallel sided.

Material examined

Other material

AUSTRALIA – Northern Territory • 1 ♀; 76.9 km NNE of Lajamanu ; 17°40′30″ S, 130°54′14″ E; 11–17 Jun. 2001; M.E. Irwin, F.D. Parker and C. Lambkin leg.; Malaise trap in deep dry gully below water hold; BOLD: AUMIC050-18; Genbank COI: MH138638 View Materials ; ANIC 32 130196 GoogleMaps   . – Queensland • 1 ♀; Kuranda ; 16.81538° S, 145.6425° E; M.S. Moulds leg.; 16 Mar. 2017; M/T; BOLD: AUMIC341-18; Genbank COI: MH138648 View Materials ; WINC GoogleMaps   1 ♀; Cudmore NP, CM3M; 22.969° S, 146.379° E; 351 m a.s.l.; 28 Oct. 2010 – 2 Aug. 2011; Lambkin, Starick and Bailey leg.; Melaleuca heath nr drying creek; M/T; QM bulk sample 18517; BOLD: AUMIC424-18; Genbank COI: MH138809 View Materials ; QM T208388 GoogleMaps   . – South Australia • 1 ♀; Cox Scrub Conservation Park ; 35.33194° S, 138.74583° E; E. Fagan-Jeffries leg.; 17Apr. 2016; M/T; BOLD:AUMIC194-18; Genbank COI: MH138655 View Materials ; WINC GoogleMaps   1 ♀; Mt Remarkable NP; 32°50′18″ S, 138°2′12″ E, 22 Jan. – 18 Feb. 2017; E. Fagan-Jeffries leg.; M/T; BOLD: AUMIC152-18; Genbank COI: MH138657 View Materials ; WINC GoogleMaps   .


In Australia, known from Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia – see remarks.


No host data available for specimens from Australia.


This species, although clearly different from any currently described from Australia, is morphologically and genetically (1–1.5% divergent in the COI barcoding region) extremely similar to C. icipe   . Cotesia icipe   was described from specimens reared in Africa from Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduva, 1833)   and Spodoptera exigua (Hübner, 1808)   ( Lepidoptera   , Noctuidae   ). Spodoptera exigua   is present in Australia as an invasive pest on a wide range of plants ( Hill 2014).

The BOLD BIN Cluster IDs for this species are BOLD:ADL3257 (South Australian specimens) and BOLD:ABZ7318 (Queensland and Northern Territory specimens). BIN BOLD:ABZ7318 contains the DNA barcodes for the described C. icipe   species as well as other specimens from Australia, Madagascar, Africa, Pakistan, French Polynesia, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Malaysia, and is less than 2% divergent from BIN BOLD:ADL3257.

In the original description of C. icipe ( Fiaboe et al. 2017)   , the authors present a COI phylogeny showing the closely related specimens on BOLD from elsewhere in the world, which cluster by geographic location, but take the conservative approach of excluding those sequences from the species. Considering that the host species are widespread pests of agricultural crops, we believe it is likely that C. icipe   is also therefore now a widespread species, and that these closely related DNA barcodes from outside Africa, including those from Australia, likely represent specimens of C. icipe   .

However, without host data for the Australia specimens, we are reluctant to definitively confirm the presence of C. icipe   in Australia until further specimens with host data become available. We do however present here the specimens, images and DNA data in the hope that it can assist applied research on the parasitoids of Spodoptera exigua   .


Australia, South Australia, Glen Osmond, Adelaide University, Waite Campus, Waite Insect & Nematode Collection


Waite Insect and Nematode Collection