Apanteles samarshalli 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 : 14-16

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Apanteles samarshalli Fernandez-Triana

sp. n.

Apanteles samarshalli Fernandez-Triana   ZBK sp. n. Figs 9-12

Type locality.

United States, Florida, Monroe County, Key Largo, 25°5'11.4"N, 80°26'50.28"W.

Type material.

Holotype. Female (CNC), with first label: FLA: Monroe Co., N. Key Largo, secondary hammock forest, iii-iv.1985; second label with Specimen ID: CNCH1234. CNC TYPE 23939.

Paratypes (CNC): 2 ♀ from N. Key Largo, Monroe Co., FL, secondary hammock forest, iii-iv.1985; 2 ♀ from Fat Deer Key, Monroe Co., FL, iii-iv.1985; 1 ♀ from Everglades National Park, Royal Palm Hammock, Monroe Co., FL, hammock forest, iii-iv.1985, S & J. Peck; 2 ♀ from Archbold Biological Station, Highlands Co., FL, 26.iv.1967, B. V. Peterson; 1 ♀ from Rondeau Prov. Pk, ON, Mal. Trap, 19.viii-11.ix.1973.


Thus far this is the only Nearctic species of Apanteles with a significantly short antenna (half the body length); vein 2M very short, almost obliterating with vein 2RS; and antenna with yellow scape/pedicel and brown flagellomere. The combination of those characters makes Apanteles samarshalli one of the most distinctive and recognizable species within the genus.



Antenna length 1.3 mm (1.3-1.5 mm), body length 2.6 mm (2.5-3.0 mm), forewing 2.3 mm (2.3-2.5 mm). Head with glossa truncate and short. Face with shallow punctures (separation between punctures about the same as its diameter). Face width at antennal base/face width at clypeus edge: 1.0 ×; intertentorial pit distance/face width at clypeus edge: 0.5 ×; compound eye height/head height: 0.7 ×; head height/width: 0.8 ×; face width at antennal base/head maximum width: 0.6 ×; malar space/basal width of mandible 1.0 ×. Clypeus transverse, its width/height: 3.0 ×. Length/width of flagellomeres: 1st (1.6 ×), 2nd (1.4 ×), 8th (0.8 ×), 14th (0.8 ×), 15th (0.9 ×). Length of flagellomere 2/flagellomere 14: 1.9 ×. Ocelo-ocular distance/posterior ocelli diameter: 1.8 ×; distance betwen posterior ocelli/ocelli diameter: 1.9 ×.

Mesosoma. Pronotum laterally with dorsal and ventral grooves well defined. Mesoscutum with coarse, close punctures (distance between punctures less than half its diameter). Mesoscutum 1.2 × (1.1 –1.2×) wider than long. Mesoscutum and scutellum covered by uniform, large, silvered-coloured pilosity. Scutellum almost smooth, with very shallow and sparse punctures in the margins. Scutellum length/width at base 0.8 ×. Scutellar suture width 1/6 scutellum length, with 12-14 costulae. Posterior band of scutellum polished. Scutellar lateral face with the polished area triangular and about 4/5 the face height. Mesopleuron with close punctures and setae on the anterior half, smooth and glabrous on the posterior half. Thin and shallow sulcus, with fine costulae, separating meso and metapleura. Metapleuron mostly punctured and with setae, smooth, polished and glabrous only around the spiracle; metapleuron with a longitudinal sulcus running from ventral to dorsal margin of metapleuron through spiracle. Metapleural carina lamellate. Propodeum sculpture reticulate, postero-laterally with longitudinal striation; propodeal areola absent but there is a short, postero-median longitudinal band of rugosity (consisting of several short carinae radiating from nucha).

Metasoma. Mediotergite 1 evenly and slightly narrowing toward apex, with a wide and deep basal depression; basal width/apical width 1.4 ×; length/apical width 1.5; mediotergite 1 mostly sculptured (except for smooth basal depression and central knob on the posterior margin), with longitudinal striation on its apical 2/3. Mediotergite 2 smooth and polished, transverse, and wider centrally; basal width/apical width 0.8 ×; length/apical width 0.3 ×. Mediotergite 3 2.0 –2.5× the length of mediotergite 2. Mediotergite 3 and following unsculptured, polished and covered by sparse setae on the posterior margins. Hypopygium striate, with acute tip slightly protruding beyond apical tergites. Ovipositor sheaths fully setose, short, 0.6 × as long as metatibia length.

Legs. Metatibial inner spur 1.3 × the length of outer spur, and 0.5 × the length of metatarsomere 1. Metafemur 2.7 × as long as wide.

Wings. Forewing vein R1a 1.3 × (1.2 –1.5×) as long as stigma length; length of R1a 4.0 × (4.0 –5.0×) as long as the distance between its end and the end of 3RSb. Vein r about the same length than maximum width of stigma. Join of veins r and 2RS evenly curved, not angulated; vein 2M very short, almost obliterating with 2RS, length of 2M 0.3 × as long as vein (RS+M)b. Edge of vannal lobe of hindwing medially strongly concave and glabrous.

Colour: Body black; antenna flagellomere, metacoxa, most of the metafemur and apical ¼ of metatibia brown; mandibles, labrum, maxillary and labial palps, scape, upper corner of pronotum, tegula and laterotergites 1-3, yellow. Wings hyaline, with most of veins brown pigmented; stigma brown with a minute pale spot basally.



Molecular data.

From all specimens studied, only the holotype rendered a partial sequence (390 bp, approximately 60% of the barcoding region). The specimen matches almost perfectly (99.96%) a Costa Rican species named as Apanteles Rodriguez151 ( Smith et al. 2008).

Distribution and biology.

The species has been found from the southwestern part of ON (Rondeau Provincial Park, 42°N) to about 25°N in FL (Everglades National Park and Florida Keys). None is know of its host, but most of the specimens have been collected in hammock forests.


Despite the two widely separate areas of distribution (ON and FL), I have not been able to find any difference between the Canadian and US specimens; thus they are considered as conspecific here. As for the relation with Apanteles Rodriguez151, I have not been able to examine specimens of the latter. If proven con-specific, it would be even more puzzling to explain the distribution of the species. All of those areas share in common the presence of oaks, but the data available is not enough as to draw any solid conclusion at present.


I dedicate this species to a great friend and entomologist, Steve A. Marshall (University of Guelph). I hope you have many more collecting and photography trips in the near future!