Phanacis tavakolii Melika, Stone & Pujade-Villar, 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 : 325-330

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Phanacis tavakolii Melika, Stone & Pujade-Villar

sp. nov.

Phanacis tavakolii Melika, Stone & Pujade-Villar , sp. nov.

Figs 101–116 View FIGURES 101–107 View FIGURES 108–111 View FIGURES 112–113 View FIGURES 114–116

Type material: HOLOTYPE female “ IRAN, Lorestan, Khorramabad-Tafe Nozhian. GPS coordinates: 48°27’56”E, 33°16’53”N, 2056 m a.s.l., Code 42, galls in stems of Cichorium intybus L., coll. M. Tavakoli, 2017; galls collected in Winter 2017; adults emerge by the end of Winter 2017.” GoogleMaps PARATYPES: 10 females with the same labels as the holotype. The holotype female and the paratypes are deposited at the PHDNRL.

Additional material examined. Thirty females with the same collection data as the holotype. No males are known.

Etymology. In recognition of the continuing contribution of Majid Tavakoli (Lorestan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, Khorramabad, Lorestan, Iran) to studies on gall wasps of Iran.

Diagnosis. The only species currently known to induce stem galls on Cichorium intybus L. ( Asteraceae ) without any external deformation on the infested stem is Phanacis cichorii ( Kieffer, 1909) , distributed in Europe, Turkmenistan, Transcaucasus, Asia. Only females are known (Melika 2006) and have been introduced to Australia and Chile ( Nieves-Aldrey & Grez 2007). Morphologically the new species most closely resembles P. cichorii . In P. cichorii the lower face is uniformly striate, with the striae radiating from the clypeus and nearly reaching the eye and toruli, the antenna is shorter than the head+mesosoma, all flagellomeres with long dark setae; submedian pronotal pits without a median carina separating them; the mesoscutum is reticulate with more dull sculpture in between notauli, in the posterior half and with more transverse sculpture in between notauli in the anterior half; the mesoscutellum is dull rugose laterally and posteriorly, with more delicate coriaceous sculpture towards the center of the mesoscutellar disk; the metapleural sulcus reaching mesopleuron in the upper 1/3 of its height, delimiting a narrow smooth area along mesopleuron, the upper part of sulcus indistinct; the central propodeal area rugose; 3rd metasomal tergum and subsequent terga with micropunctures. In P. tavakolii sp. nov. the lower face only has striae radiating laterally from the clypeus and reaching the torulus, centrally the lower face is alutaceous, without striae; the antenna is longer than the head+mesosoma, flagellomeres with white setae; submedian pronotal pits separated by an area more than 2.0× as broad as width of a pit; the mesoscutum uniformly alutaceous-reticulate, the mesoscutellum uniformly delicately rugose, the metapleural sulcus reaching the mesopleuron only slightly above the mid height, delimiting a broad coriaceous area along the mesopleuron, the upper part of sulcus distinct; the central propodeal area coriaceous, without rugae; all metasomal terga without micropunctures.

Description. Female ( Figs 101–113 View FIGURES 101–107 View FIGURES 108–111 View FIGURES 112–113 ). Head and mesosoma black, mandibles and palpi light brown to yellow; antenna dark brown, except much lighter F1–F3, pedicel and scape; legs uniformly light brown to yellow; metasoma dark brown, with much lighter 2nd metasomal tergum and hypopygium.

Head alutaceous, with sparse white setae, denser on lower face, rounded, 1.2× as broad as high and slightly broader than mesosoma in frontal view, 1.7× as broad as long from dorsal view. Gena alutaceous, only slightly or not broadened behind eye, slightly narrower than cross diameter of eye in lateral view. Eye 1.5× as high as length of malar space, malar sulcus absent, malar space with numerous strong striae, radiating from clypeus and nearly reaching eye. Inner margins of eyes parallel. POL 2.1× as long as OOL; OOL as long as LOL and 2.4× as long as diameter of lateral ocellus; all ocelli of the same shape and size. Transfacial distance 1.3× as long as height of eye; diameter of antennal torulus 1.8× as long as distance between them and nearly as long as distance between torulus and eye margin. Lower face laterally with striae radiating from clypeus and reaching torulus, centrally without striae, alutaceous; median elevated area alutaceous. 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; 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 12 flagellomeres, longer than head+mesosoma; pedicel 1.3× as long as broad; F1 1.5× as long as pedicel, slightly longer than F2, F2 slightly longer than F3, F3 till F11 nearly equal in length, F12 2.0× as long as F11, all flagellomeres with white setae; placodeal sensilla on F3–F12, 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 2.0× as short as greatest length on outer lateral margin. Submedian pronotal pits small, narrow, area separating them more than 2.0× as broad as width of a pit. Mesoscutum slightly broader than long, uniformly alutaceous-reticulate. Notaulus deep, complete, anterior parallel line indistinct, hardly traceable; parapsidal lines narrow, distinctly impressed, reaching tegula level; median mesoscutal line extending to half length of mesoscutum. Mesoscutellum uniformly delicately rugose, rounded, circumscutellar carina hardly traceable laterally and posteriorly; slightly overhanging metascutellum. Mesoscutellar foveae in a form of transverse semilunar impression anteriorly, indistinctly or not separated by a slightly elevated median area. Mesopleuron uniformly rugose, reticulate in some parts, with some transversally orientated wrinkles and white setae ventrally; mesopleural triangle coriaceous, with some delicate longitudinal wrinkles. Metapleural sulcus reaching mesopleuron slightly above mid height, delimiting a broad coriaceous area along mesopleuron, upper part of sulcus distinct. Dorsal axillar and lateral axillar areas coriaceous, mat, with sparse white setae; subaxillular bar smooth, shining, most posterior end narrower than height of smooth metanotal trough; metascutellum delicately coriaceous, narrow medially; smooth ventral impressed area shorter than height of mesoscutellum medially. Propodeum coriaceous, lateral propodeal carinae uniformly thick, subparallel, weakly bent inwards; central propodeal area coriaceous, 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, veins yellowish brown, R1 reaching wing margin and extending along margin on a short distance, Rs nearly reaching wing margin, radial cell partially closed, 3.4× as long as broad, areolet absent, Rs+M indistinct, weakly pigmented, reaching to 2/3 of distance between areolet and basalis, its projection reaching basalis in lower half. Tarsal claws very narrow, without basal lobe.

Metasoma 1.6× as long as high in lateral view; 2nd metasomal tergum without setae anterolaterally and without punctures, extending to 1/3 of metasoma length in lateral view; all subsequent terga without setae and micropunctures; prominent part of ventral spine of hypopygium with very short white setae ventrally, short, as broad as long in ventral view. Body length 1.7–2.2 mm (n = 10).

Male. Unknown.

Gall ( Figs 114–116 View FIGURES 114–116 ). Galls are cryptic chambers hidden in stems, without external swelling and most easily detected by the holes made by the emerging adults.

Biology. Galls mature by summer; adults emerge in February of the following year. The host plant is Cichorium intybus L. ( Asteraceae ).

Distribution. Khorramabad-Tafe Nozhian, Lorestan Province, Iran.