Austroearinus Sharkey,

Sharkey, Michael, 2006, Two new genera of Agathidinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) with a key to the genera of the New World, Zootaxa 1185, pp. 37-51: 45-46

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.2646013

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Austroearinus Sharkey

n. gen.

Austroearinus Sharkey  n. gen.

( Fig. 1bView FIGURE 1)


Austroearinus  can be distinguished from all other agathidine genera with the following combination of characters: tarsal claws with a basal tooth; mesoscutum unsculptured and lacking notauli; hind coxal cavities open; propleuron without projection; ovipositor as long as or longer than metasoma.


Head: Carinae on frons lacking; interantennal space lacking two prominences separated by shallow groove; gena not extended ventroposteriorly into sharp prominence; labial palp with four segments, third segment not reduced; apical antennomere acute; antennal insertion bordered anteriorly, medially, and laterally by moderately elevated ridge. Mesosoma: Mesoscutum  smooth; notauli lacking; posteroscutellar depression absent; median areola of metanotum well defined with sharp carinae laterally and posteriorly; propodeum from completely smooth to carinate with anterior transverse carina and with pair of longitudinal carinae enclosing large medial cell; propleuron mildly convex to flat lacking ventromedial prominence; propodeal pseudosternite poorly developed and not separating hind coxal cavities from metasomal foramen. Legs: Foretibia lacking pegs; foretarsal claws with quadrate basal lobe; basal lobe with tuft of pectination basally (c.f. Fig. 2cView FIGURE 2); midtibia with apical and medial pegs; hind tibia with apical pegs. Wings: RS + M vein incomplete and not tubular throughout, though often more complete than most genera of Agathidinae  ( Fig.1bView FIGURE 1); second submarginal cell triangular to weakly quadrate; 3RSb straight; hind wing r and r­m crossveins absent; CUb sometimes present as a nebulous or spectral vein. Metasoma: Median tergites smooth lacking sculpture; median tergite 1 with pair of longitudinal carinae diverging distally; median syntergite 2 + 3 with 1 or 2 transverse depressions, distinct grooves absent; ovipositor mildly decurved, longer than metasoma (slightly shorter than the metasoma in one species) usually as long as body.

Type species Bassus rufofemoratus (Muesebeck)  ( Fig. 1bView FIGURE 1).


New World, primarily Neotropical. One species, Austroearinus rufofemoratus  n. comb., is widespread in central and eastern USA and through Central America, but the genus is far more diverse in warm tropical areas.

Species diversity

At least two species formerly placed in other agathidine genera belong here: Austroearinus rufofemoratus  , originally placed in Bassus ( Muesebeck 1927)  , and subsequently transferred to Earinus ( Sharkey 2004)  ; Austroearinus unicolor (Schrottkey)  n. comb., originally placed in Orgilus (Schrottkey 1902)  , but more recently considered as a member of the genus Bassus  . The genus is extremely species rich. I estimate there to be more than 100 species and perhaps several times this number. Many species also appear to be common, for example, there has been intensive Malaise trap sampling in La Selva, Costa Rica for more than a decade ( and, of all species of Agathidinae  , A. chrysokeras  has been the most frequently collected.

Biology (Dan Janzen, pers. comm.)

A specimen of A. rufofemoratus  from Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, was reared from a microlepidopteran, only identified as Tortricidae  , feeding on the mature leaves of Amyris pinnata  ( Rutaceae  ) and living in a light silk web. The wasp larva emerged from the last instar caterpillar on 6 April 2002 and spun a strong white cocoon tightly glued to the leaf surface. This is unlike other known agathidines which spin inside the caterpillar cocoon. The wasp eclosed 9 days later, which means that all of this happened in the full dry season. The site is 280 m elevation, Lat 11.04562 Long ­85.45742, and locally known as Puente Mena in the Del Oro property adjacent to the north boundary of the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste. The site lies on the interface between ACG dry forests and ACG rain forest. The entire record may be found at, refer to specimen number 02­SRNP­14223.

Etymology From the Latin australis which means southern, referring to the southern distribution of this genus and its morphological similarity to Earinus  .