Canadian Forest Service Publications

Revision of Ooctonus (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) in the nearctic region. 2012. Huber, J. T. Revision of the genus Ooctonus (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) Zootaxa 143:15-105.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34859

Language: English

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The genus Ooctonus Haliday (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) includes 14 species in the Nearctic Region north of Mexico. The known species are redescribed and five new species are described: O. arizonensis Huber, sp. n., O. boltei Huber, sp. n., O. longipetiolus Huber sp. n., O. readae Huber, sp. n., and O. triapitsyni Huber, sp. n. One new synonym is proposed: O. auripes Whittaker, syn. n., under O. vulgatus Haliday. A key to females is given. Known hosts in North America are Cercopoidea (one species of Aphrophora Germar and one of Philaenus Stål) and, in the Old World, Cicadellidae (one species of Nephotettix Matsumura and one of Cicadella Latreille).

Plain Language Summary

The purpose of this paper is to describe 4 new species of parasitic wasp in the genus Ooctonus, three of which are from high altitude oak/pine/fir forests in Mexico and one from lower altitude in Costa Rica, as far south as members of the group go in the New World. The genus is compared with another, very poorly known, genus described previously from Australia. Previous work assumed, incorrectly, that Ooctonus was related to a worldwide genus Gonatocerus. My paper corrects this and shows that the Australian genus is actually the closest to Ooctonus. These findings will result in a better classification of the entire group on a North American and a world basis. The scientific impact is to add scientific knowledge about a group of parasitic wasps whose members are abundant worldwide but are generally poorly studied because of their small size. They are all parasites in the eggs of other insects. Some species have been used successfully in biological control programmes against pests in forestry and agriculture.