Phanacis strigosa Melika, Stone & Tavakoli, 2022

Tavakoli, Majid, Stone, Graham N., Pujade-Villar, Juli & Melika, George, 2022, New herb gall wasps from Iran (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), Zootaxa 5155 (3), pp. 301-333 : 318-325

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Phanacis strigosa Melika, Stone & Tavakoli

sp. nov.

Phanacis strigosa Melika, Stone & Tavakoli , sp. nov.

Figs 86–100 View FIGURES 86–91 View FIGURES 92–95 View FIGURES 96–98 View FIGURES 99–100

Type material: HOLOTYPE female “ IRAN, Lorestan, Zaghe ( Natural Resources Research Station ). GPS coordinates: 48°40’28”E, 33°29’16”N, 1988 m, Code 9 (2016) hidden stem galls in Picris strigosa , coll. M. Tavakoli, summer 2015; adults emerge by the end of winter 2015” GoogleMaps . PARATYPES: one female with the same labels as the holotype. The holotype female and the paratypes are deposited at the PHDNRL.

Etymology. Named after the species name of the host plant, P. strigosa M. Bieb. ( Asteraceae ).

Diagnosis. Three Phanacis species which induce stem galls on Picris sp. are known in Europe: P. caulicola ( Hedicke, 1939) on Picris echioides L. and P. hieracioides L. ( Asteraceae ) and P. ciceki Azmaz & Katilmiş, 2021 from Picris sp. ( Nieves-Aldrey 2001, Azmaz & Katilmiş 2021). However, in both species the head, mesosoma and metasoma are black. Two other Phanacis species with black body are known from Picris : P. helminthiae (De Stefani, 1902), galls in flowers of Picris aculeata Vahl Rocco La Duca and P. comosae Nieves-Aldrey, 2008 , galls in the head (flowers) of Picris comosa ( Nieves-Aldrey et al. 2008) . In the new species the entire body is light brown, with a slightly darker metasoma. According to the previously published key (Melika 2006) the herein described species runs to P. cousiniae Diakontschuk, 1988 which induces stem galls on Cousinia sp. and Centaurea iberica Trev. ( Asteraceae ) in Turkmenistan and Tadzhikistan ( Diakontschuk 1988). However, in P. cousiniae like in the other above mentioned Phanacis species, the head, mesosoma and metasoma are black, the 3rd and subsequent metasomal terga have micropunctures, and males are known ( Diakontschuk 1988), while in Phanacis strigosa , sp. nov. the entire body is brown and the metasoma is without micropunctures.

Description. Female ( Figs 86–98 View FIGURES 86–91 View FIGURES 92–95 View FIGURES 96–98 ). Head, mandibles and palpi maxilaris and labialis light brown to yellow; antenna dark brown, except lighter F1–F3, pedicel and scape; mesosoma light brown to yellow, except much darker metanotal trough and metascutellum; all legs same coloured as the mesosoma; metasoma orange brown, with much darker posterior tergites and hypopygium.

Head delicately coriaceous to alutaceous-reticulate, with sparse white setae, denser on lower face, rounded, only slightly broader than high and slightly broader than mesosoma in frontal view, 1.7× as broad as long from dorsal view. Gena alutaceous-reticulate, not broadened behind eye; not visible behind eye in front view; as broad as cross diameter of eye, measuring behind eye. Eye 1.3× as high as length of malar space, malar sulcus absent, malar space with numerous strong striae, radiating from clypeus and reaching eye. Eyes slightly converging ventrally. POL 1.8× as long as OOL; OOL as long as LOL and 3.0× as long as diameter of lateral ocellus. Transfacial distance 1.4× as long as height of eye; diameter of antennal torulus 2.1× as long as distance between them and nearly as long as distance between torulus and eye margin. Lower face with numerous striae, radiating from clypeus and reaching toruli and eye; median elevated area alutaceous-reticulate. Clypeus smooth, rectangular, slightly higher than broad, ventrally rounded, slightly projecting over mandibles; anterior tentorial pits, epistomal sulcus and clypeo-pleurostomal line distinct. Frons, vertex, occiput, postocciput alutaceous-reticulate. Postocciput and postgenal bridge slightly darker than rest of head posteriorly; posterior tentorial pit small, ovate, deep, area below not impressed; occipital foramen as high as height of postgenal bridge; hypostomal carina distinct, broad, emarginate, continuing into united postgenal sulci. Antenna with 11 flagellomeres, longer than head+mesosoma; pedicel 1.3× as long as broad; F1 1.8× as long as pedicel, nearly equal F2, F2=F3=F4=F5; F6 till F10 slightly shorter and equal in length, F11 1.7× as long as F10, all flagellomeres with white setae; placodeal sensilla on F3–F11, absent on F1–F2.

Mesosoma convex, longer than high in lateral view, with sparse white setae, denser on propodeum and along anterolateral edge of pronotum. Pronotum uniformly alutaceous-reticulate, dorsomedially 1.5× as short as greatest length on outer lateral margin. Submedian pronotal pits small, narrow, area separating them 2.0× as broad as width of a pit. Mesoscutum slightly broader than long, uniformly alutaceous-reticulate. Notaulus weakly impressed, complete, on entire length slightly impressed; anterior parallel line indistinct, hardly traceable; parapsidal lines slightly impressed, narrow, indistinct, reaching tegula level; median mesoscutal line indistinct, but mesoscutum very weakly impressed along the median line. Mesoscutellum uniformly alutaceous-reticulate, distinctly longer than broad, trapezoid, posteriorly broader than anteriorly; circumscutellar carina distinct and complete; slightly overhanging metascutellum. Mesoscutellar foveae in a form of transverse impression anteriorly, indistinctly separated by a slightly elevated median area. Mesopleuron uniformly alutaceous-reticulate, with some white setae ventrally; mesopleural triangle reticulate, with some delicate longitudinal wrinkles. Metapleural sulcus reaching mesopleuron in the upper 1/3 of its height, delimiting a broad reticulate area along mesopleuron; dorsal axillar and lateral axillar areas smooth, shining, with white setae; subaxillular bar smooth, shining, the most posterior end slightly narrower than height of reticulate metanotal trough; metascutellum reticulate, narrow medially; smooth ventral impressed area higher than height of mesoscutellum medially. Propodeum alutaceous-reticulate, lateral propodeal carinae uniformly thick, parallel; central propodeal area uniformly alutaceous-reticulate, without striae, with setae; lateral propodeal area alutaceous, with dense white setae; nucha short, laterally smooth, without longitudinal striae, dorsocentrally smooth, without longitudinal striae, only dorsolaterally some delicate striae visible.

Forewing longer than body, margin with long cilia; R1 reaching wing margin and extending along margin on a short distance; radial cell partially closed, 2.3× as long as broad, areolet small, triangular, distinct, Rs+M indistinct, weakly pigmented, reaching to half length of distance between areolet and basalis, its projection reaching basalis in lower half. Tarsal claws very narrow, without basal lobe.

Metasoma 1.7× as long as high in lateral view; 2nd metasomal tergum without setae anterolaterally and without punctures, extending to 1/4 of metasoma length in lateral view; all subsequent terga without setae and micropunctures; prominent part of ventral spine of hypopygium without setae, short, as broad as long in ventral view. Body length 1.7–1.8 mm (n = 2).

Male. Unknown.

Gall ( Figs 99–100 View FIGURES 99–100 ). Galls are cryptic, hidden within the stems of the host plant, without any noticeable external swelling of the stem, thus the position of the galls can be located based only on the presence of the adult wasp emergence holes.

Biology. Galls mature in summer. Adult wasps overwinter in the galls and emerge at the end of winter in the following year. The only known host plant is Picris strigosa M. Bieb. ( Asteraceae ).

Distribution. Zaghe (Natural Resources Research Station), Lorestan Province, Iran.