Spathius lahji Belokobylskij

Belokobylskij, Sergey A. & Achterberg, Cornelis Van, 2021, Review of the braconid parasitoid subfamily Doryctinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) from the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, European Journal of Taxonomy 765 (1), pp. 1-143: 47-51

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Spathius lahji Belokobylskij

sp. nov.

Spathius lahji Belokobylskij   sp. nov.

Figs 20–21 View Fig View Fig

Comparative diagnosis

According to Nixon’s (1943) key, this new species belongs to the S. dissors Wilkinson   species-group being similar to S. zagreus Nixon, 1943   from Philippines. However, S. lahji   sp. nov. distinctly differs from S. zagreus   by having all maxillary palpal segments entirely dark reddish brown (apical segment whitish in S. zagreus   ), fore and middle tibiae entirely black (pale at apex in S. zagreus   ), vertex entirely and very densely granulate reticulate (with distinct traces of transverse aciculation in S. zagreus   ), temple very densely punctate-reticulate (virtually smooth in S. zagreus   ), mesonotum with low but distinct longitudinal keel (without keel and flat in S. zagreus   ), mesopleuron entirely finely reticulate-coriaceous (with broad smooth shining area in S. zagreus   ), second-fourth metasomal tergites with fine but distinct lateral margins (without such margins in S. zagreus   ), and ovipositor sheaths very short, about 0.3 times as long as metasoma (long and 0.8–0.9 times as long as metasoma in S. zagreus   ).


Named after the type locality of the new species, Lahj in Yemen.

Material examined

Holotype YEMEN • ♀; “Yemen (6022), Lahj , vii–ix.2001, Mal. trap, A.v. Harten & A. Sallam, RMNH’02”; RMNH.  

Paratype YEMEN • 1 ♂; same label data as for holotype; RMNH   .



MEASUREMENTS. Body length 3.6 mm; fore wing length 2.2 mm.

HEAD. Head width (dorsal view) 1.6 times its median length, 1.2 times width of mesoscutum. Vertex convex. Head behind eyes (dorsal view) weakly convex anteriorly and weakly evenly roundness decreased posteriorly. Transverse diameter of eye (dorsal view) 1.4 times longer than temple. Ocelli small, in almost equilateral triangle. POL 1.3 times Od, 0.5 times OOL. Eye with very short and sparse setae, in lateral view oblique, its maximum diameter 1.2 times minimum diameter. Malar space 0.4 times maximum diameter of eye, 0.85 times basal width of mandible. Face weakly convex, its width 0.9 times maximum diameter of eye, 1.4 times height of face and clypeus combined. Clypeal suture complete, distinct laterally but fine mediodorsally. Ventral margin of clypeus with narrow flange. Hypoclypeal depression medium-sized and rounded, its width 0.8 times shortest distance from edge to eye, 0.4 times width of face. Occipital carina dorsally complete and almost not broken toward ocellar triangle, not reaching below hypostomal carina and obliterated short distance before mandible base. Hypostomal flange narrow.

ANTENNA. Antenna rather slender, filiform, 22-segmented, 0.7 times as long as body. Scape 1.6 times longer than its maximum width. First flagellar segment 3.5 times longer than apical width, about as long as second segment. Penultimate segment 3.0 times longer than width, 0.7 times as long as first segment, 0.9 times as long as apical segment; latter acuminate apically and without spine.

MESOSOMA. Mesosoma high and short, its maximum length 1.6 times its maximum height. Pronotal carina fine to very fine, its posterior fused medially with posterior margin of pronotum. Pronotal lateral depression shallow and narrow, reticulate-crenulate, delineated below by carina. Mesoscutum (lateral view) high, roundly and curvedly elevated above pronotum, its median lobe (dorsal view) distinctly convex anteriorly and without anterolateral corners, without longitudinal median furrow; mesoscutum in dorsal view 0.9 times as long as maximum width. Notauli incomplete, rather narrow, rather distinct and finely crenulate in anterior half, very shallow or almost indistinct in posterior half. Prescutellar depression distinct, narrow medially and widened laterally, with several rather dense crenulation, 0.1 times as long as scutellum. Scutellum weakly convex, without lateral carinae, almost as long as maximum basal width. Subalar depression narrow, shallow, finely reticulate. Precoxal sulcus indistinct. Postpectal carina absent. Metanotum with low, wide and distally not acuminate medio-dorsal tubercle (lateral view). Metapleural flange (lobe) rather narrow, relatively long, subrounded distally. Propodeum almost straight in anterior half and weakly rounded in posterior half (lateral view), without lateral tubercles.

WINGS. Fore wing 3.8 times longer than wide. Pterostigma wide, 3.0 times longer than its maximum width. Radial vein (r) arising before middle of pterostigma, from its basal 0.4. Radial (marginal) cell weakly shortened, metacarpus (1-R1) 1.5 times longer than pterostigma. Second radial abscissa (3- SR) 4.8 times longer than first abscissa (r) and forming with it straight angle, 0.8 times as long as the evenly curved third abscissa (SR1), 2.1 times as long as straight first radiomedial vein (2-SR). Second radiomedial (submarginal) cell weakly narrowed distally, its length 3.2 times maximum width, 1.7 times length of brachial (subdiscal) cell. Second abscissa of medial vein (2-SR+M) long, 1.5 times longer than recurrent vein (m-cu). Nervulus (cu-a) weakly postfurcal and oblique towards base of wing. Mediocubital vein (M+CU1) distinctly sinuate and strongly curved medially to longitudinal anal vein (1-1A). Brachial (subdiscal) cell wide basally and narrowed towards apex, evenly closed apically on the level of recurrent vein (m-cu). Parallel vein (CU1a) interstitial. Hind wing 4.7 times longer than its maximum width. First costal abscissa (C+SC+R) 0.8 times as long as second abscissa (1-SC+R). First abscissa of mediocubital vein (M+CU) 0.55 times as long as second and third abscissa (1-M) combined. Recurrent vein (m-cu) long, unsclerotised and not pigmented, interstitial, distinctly and evenly curved towards base of wing.

LEGS. Fore tibia anterior margin with rather long and rather dense spines arranged in long single line. Segments of middle tarsus rather short, weakly longer than their width. Hind coxa rather short, without basoventral corner and tubercle, 1.4 times longer than maximum width. Hind femur weakly thickened, elongate-oval, 3.5 times longer than wide, with distinct antero-dorsal protuberance. Hind tibia with six slender spines on outer distal margin. Hind tarsus 0.85 times as long as hind tibia. Hind basitarsus 0.55 times as long as remaining segments combined. Second segment of hind tarsus 0.6 times as long as basitarsus, 1.1 times longer than fifth segment (without pretarsus).

METASOMA. Petiole in lateral view, ventrally weakly curved, dorsally strongly arched in anterior half and almost straight in posterior half, highest in anterior third; in dorsal view, petiole rather broad, weakly evenly widening towards anterior quarter (till distinct spiracular tubercles), and weakly widened to apex of petiole, with very fine dorsope. Length of petiole 2.3 times its posterior width, 1.6 times length of propodeum; posterior width almost equal to its width at level of spiracles, 1.5 times its minimum anterior width. Second to fifth tergites with laterotergites separated; second and third lateral parts of tergites not fused. Second suture present, but very shallow, weakly curved and reticulate with very fine crenulation partly. Median length of second tergite 0.9 times its anterior width, almost as long as third tergite. Median length of second and third tergites combined 1.7 times anterior width of second tergite, 0.7 times their maximum width. Ovipositor straight. Ovipositor sheath 1.2 times longer than petiole, 0.3 times as long as metasoma, 0.6 times as long as mesosoma, 0.3 times as long as fore wing.

SCULPTURE AND PUBESCENCE. Head densely granulate, without aciculation; face medially finely coriaceous in vertical stripe, temple below finely granulate-coriaceous. Mesoscutum densely and small reticulateareolate, without carinae and rugulosity medio-posteriorly; scutellum entirely finely reticulate. Meso- and metapleura entirely densely and finely reticulate-coriaceous. Propodeum only with basolateral areas delineated by rather distinct carinae, areola absent; propodeum almost smooth in basomedial fifth, then medially reticulate-rugulose; transverse and longitudinal striate with rugulosity in posterior third. Hind coxa almost entirely areolate-coriaceous; hind femur mainly very finely reticulate. Petiole mainly reticulate-rugulose, almost smooth medio-posteriorly, with short and subparallel dorsal carinae in anterior 0.4. Second to sixth tergites entirely and very densely small reticulate-areolate, sculpture becoming finer towards posterior; second suture without crenulation. Vertex mainly glabrous, with short and sparse yellow setae laterally. Mesoscutum widely glabrous, with short and sparse yellow setae arranged along trace of notauli and laterally. Setae of hind tibia semi-erect, short and rather sparse, their length on dorsal surface about 0.3 times maximum width of tibia.

COLOUR. Body mainly reddish brown to dark reddish brown, head mainly light reddish brown but infuscate dorsally. Palpi dark brown. Antenna mainly yellow to brownish yellow, two apical segments brown to dark brown. Legs mainly reddish brown with dark spots, fore and middle coxae light reddish brown; fore femur anteriorly partly brownish yellow; all tibiae almost black, tarsi yellow medially, dark basally and apically. Ovipositor sheath almost black. Fore wing strongly infuscate, paler distally, with hyaline vertical stripes wide basally, narrow on level of maximum bend of mediocubital vein (M+CU) and under base of pterostigma. Pterostigma mainly black, white in basal 0.4.


Body length 4.3 mm; fore wing length 2.2 mm. Antenna 22-segmented, with three dark apical segments. Penultimate segment 2.4 times longer than width. Mesosoma maximum length 1.7 times its maximum height. Hind femur 3.1 times longer than wide. Otherwise very similar to female.




Netherlands, Leiden, Nationaal Natuurhistorische Museum ("Naturalis") [formerly Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie]


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis