Apanteles masmithi Fernandez-Triana

Fernandez-Triana, Jose L., 2010, Eight new species and an annotated checklist of Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) from Canada and Alaska, ZooKeys 63, pp. 1-53 : 9-12

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Apanteles masmithi Fernandez-Triana

sp. n.

Apanteles masmithi Fernandez-Triana   ZBK sp. n. Figs 13, 14

Type locality.

Canada, Ontario, London, 42°59'1.32"N, 81°14'58.92"W.

Type material.

Holotype. Female (CNC), with first label as follows: London, ON, 23.viii.1953, W.W. Judd, on Typha heads; second label (yellow) with a code: 54-B-4; third label with a provisional identification by Mason (1955); fourth label with Specimen ID: MIC 000048. CNC TYPE 23937.

Paratypes (CNC): 3 #F from London, ON, 23.viii.1953, W.W. Judd, on Typha heads, one of those specimens with a third label with Specimen IDs: MIC 000049; 5 #F, 6 #M from Digby, NS, 28.viii.1959, P.H.H. Gray, ex Limnaecia phragmitella , four of those specimens with a third label with Specimen IDs: MIC 000050, MIC 000051, MIC 000052 (3 #F), and MIC 000054 (1 #M); 5 #F, 1 #M from Lunenburg, NS, vi-vii.1969, B. Wright, ex Gelechidae larvae on cat-tail heads, two of those specimens with a third label with Specimen IDs: MIC 000053 (1 #F), and MIC 000057 (1 #M); 2 #F, 4 #M, Brighton, NS, P.H.H. Gray, ex. Limnaecia phragmitella and Dycimotomia julianalis , on Typha heads, two of those specimens with a third label with Specimen IDs: MIC 000055 and MIC 000056 (2 #M); 1 ♂, Leeds-Granville Co., forest, ix-x.2008, S. B. Peck. Specimen ID: CAM 0456.


This species looks similar to Apanteles cockerelli Muesebeck, 1921; and it will run to that species in the available keys (e.g. Muesebeck 1921). It differs in the stigma colour in the fore wing (pale with only brown borders in Apanteles masmithi , completely brown in Apanteles cockerelli ); the shape of vannal lobe in the hind wing (straight and with short setae medially in Apanteles masmithi , concave and glabrous in Apanteles cockerelli ), and the relative length of the metatibial spurs (about the same length in Apanteles masmithi , the inner spur longer than the outer one in Apanteles cockerelli ). The two species also have different geographic distribution, different host species, and differ in 14 base pairs within the barcoding region (more details below under the sections Molecular data, Distribution and biology and Comments).



Antenna length 2.6 mm (2.1-2.5 mm), body length 3.7 mm (2.8-3.6 mm), forewing 3.5 mm (2.6-3.5 mm). Head with glossa bilobated and rather long. Face smooth, with very shallow punctures (separation between punctures larger than punctures diameter) and very sparse setae. Face width at antennal base/face width at clypeus edge: 1.1 ×; intertentorial pit distance/face width at clypeus edge: 0.6 ×; compound eye height/head height: 0.7 × (0.6 –0.7×); head height/width: 0.9 ×; face width at antennal base/head maximum width: 0.6 ×; malar space/basal width of mandible 1.7 × (1.3 –1.7×). Clypeus not much transverse, its width/height: 2.6 ×. Length/width of flagellomeres: 1st (3.1 ×), 2nd (3.1 ×), 8th (2.3 ×), 14th (1.3 ×), 15th (1.0 ×). Length of flagellomere 2/flagellomere 14: 2.2 ×. Ocelo-ocular distance/posterior ocelli diameter: 2.3 × (1.9 –2.3×); distance betwen posterior ocelli/ocelli diameter: 2.7 × (2.1 –2.7×).

Mesosoma. Pronotum very smooth and polished, laterally with dorsal and ventral grooves thin but deep and well defined. Mesoscutum mostly smooth, with shallow punctures (distance between punctures about its diameter), punctures a little closer and deeper in the posterior margin. Mesoscutum 1.2 × (1.1 –1.2×) wider than long. Mesoscutum and scutellum covered by sparse, silvered-coloured pilosity. Scutellum almost smooth, with very sparse (distance between punctures twice its diameter) and shallow punctures concentrated mostly on the margins. Scutellum length/width at base 1.1 ×. Scutellar suture thin and shallow, with 16 (15-17) costulae. Posterior band of scutellum polished. Scutellar lateral face with the polished area triangular and about 4/5 the face height. Mesopleuron smooth and glabrous on most of its surface, with sparse setae and punctures (distance between punctures twice or more its diameter) only on the anterior and dorsal margins. Thin and shallow sulcus, with a few costulae, separating meso and metapleura. Metapleuron mostly smooth and polished, with setae and sparse punctures only dorsally and posteriorly along margins; metapleuron with a thin, longitudinal sulcus running from lower margin through spiracle. Metapleural carina with short lamella. Propodeum mostly smooth, with sparsely punctures in the anterior half and a few transverse striae in the apical half; propodeal areola absent but there is a short, postero-median longitudinal band of rugosity (consisting of several very short carinae radiating from nucha).

Metasoma. Mediotergite 1 arched and strongly narrowing toward apex, with a wide and deep basal depression; basal width/apical width 2.2 ×; length/apical width 2.3 (2.0 –2.3×); mediotergite 1 mostly smooth, polished and glabrous, with a few setae and elongated, longitudinal punctures postero-laterally. Mediotergite 2 smooth and polished, transverse, and wider centrally; basal width/apical width 1.0 × (0.9 –1.0×); length /apical width 0.5 × (0.3 –0.5×). Mediotergite 3 2.0 × (2.0 –2.5×) the length of mediotergite 2. Mediotergite 3 and following unsculptured, polished and uniformly covered by setae. Hypopygium striate, with acute tip protruding beyond apical tergites. Ovipositor sheaths fully setose, 1.9 × (1.8 –1.9×) as long as metatibia length.

Legs. Metatibial inner spur about the same length of outer spur, and 0.4 × (0.4 –0.5×) the length of metatarsomere 1. Metafemur 2.8 × as long as wide.

Wings. Forewing vein R1a 1.0 × as long as stigma length; length of R1a 5.0 × as long as the distance between its end and the end of 3RSb. Vein r 0.8 × the maximum width of stigma. Join of veins r and 2RS angulated and with a small know marking the angulation (sometimes only slightly angulated and then know very small to absent); vein 2M 0.6 × as long as vein (RS+M)b. Edge of vannal lobe of hindwing medially straight and with short setae that are slightly sparser than the rest of the lobe.

Colour: Mostly black to dark brown, except for: maxillary and labial palps (light brown to brown), wing base (light brown), profemur and part of most of all tibia and tarsi (light brown to yellow), meso and metatibial spurs (light yellow to witish). Wings hyaline, with most of veins transparent, except for C+Sc+R, R1, and occasionally r and 2RS which can be partially pigmented; stigma hyaline except for brownish borders.


Similar to females but slightly smaller in size and with longer antennal segments (especially the apical ones). The maxillary and labial palpi tend to be yellow, and the legs tend to be darker (mostly black with less yellow areas). The mediotergite 1 is fully smooth and polished, and narrows stronger toward apex (being thinner compared to that of females). The wing veins are paler, of milky coloration, including the stigma (which brown borders are very thin, almost disappearing in some specimens).


There is some variation in size among the different localities (it is shown in the description) and also the maxillary and labial palpi range from dark brown to yellow.

Molecular data.

Barcodesof 6 specimens of Apanteles masmithi and 3 of the related species Apanteles cockerelli were compared. Because all specimens but one were collected between 1951 and 1969 it was only possible to obtain mini-barcodes (144 bp). The only recent specimen (a paratype of Apanteles masmithi , collected in 2008) rendered a full barcode (657 bp) which fully matched the other specimens with mini-barcodes. The molecular results confirmed that they are indeed different species, with at least 14 (9.7%) of base pairs divergence (Fig. 22). Interestingly, specimens of Apanteles cockerelli within the US (from CA, MO and TX) seem to comprise more than one species -but that is beyond the geographical scope of the present work, thus they will be dealt with in a different paper.

Distribution and biology.

The species is widely distributed in Eastern Canada, where it has been recorded parasitizing Limnaecia phragmitella ( Gelechidae ) on Typha spp. heads (cattail grass). Some paratypes from Nova Scotia had written on their labels that the host could also be Dycimotomia julianalis ( Pyralidae ), also on cattail; however, this record needs to be confirmed. This is the first Microgastrinae (and Braconidae ) species recorded as parasitoid of Limnaecia phragmitella .


The specimens of Apanteles masmithi were identified by W. Mason as a different but related species to Apanteles cockerelli . The latter species has been recorded from US in the following ten states: CA, IA, ID, MI, MO, NE, NM, OR, SD, TX ( Yu et al. 2005). The different host species ( Isophrictis sp. ( Gelechidae ) for Apanteles cockerelli ), 14 (9.7 %) of base pairs divergence within the barcoding region, and slight but consistent morphological differences, provide sufficient evidence to consider Apanteles masmithi as a distinct species.


I dedicate this species, which DNA barcoding helped to recognize, to M. Alex Smith (University of Guelph) as an appreciation for the many parasitoid wasps he has helped to barcode, study and publish about; and also for sharing with me his superb knowledge on molecular approaches.