Wharton (1977) in the revision of the New World species with the genus
Aphaereta has given its detailed description. Subsequently, Wharton
(1980) reviewed Nearctic Alysiini and recently Wharton (2002) discussed
the generic relationship of Aphaereta with the other Alysiini genera
on the basis of progressive loss of wing venation. He has placed Aphaereta
close to Asobara and some species group within the Phaenocarpa
with the series Phaenocarpa-Asobara-Aphaereta.
In all 36 species have been described under the genus Aphaereta
from the world (Shenefelt, 1974; Wharton, 1977, 2002) out of which only
two species are described from Indo-Australian region. In the present
study the genus Aphaereta is recorded for the first time from India
and three new species viz., Aphaereta breviterebrata, A. indica
and A. minys. are described. The diagnostic characters for
all species have been provided. A key for the identification of Indian
species is also proposed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The material was collected from various regions in India by using sweeping
nets. Scanning electron microphotographs of taxonomically important body
parts were taken with the help of SEM (LEO 435 VP). Photographs of body
parts on slide were taken with the help of a digital camera attached to
a Trinocular Research Microscope (Olympus, BX-60). Measurements were taken
with the help of ocular micrometer fitted in one of the two eye-pieces
of the binocular microscope.
The terminology for the various parts and wing venation is after Sharkey
and Wharton (1997) while Eady (1968) has been followed for description
of surface-sculpture. The following abbreviations are used in the text:
AOL = Anterior ocellar line (distance between the inner edges of anterior
and lateral ocelli), POL = Posterior ocellar line (distance between the
inner edges of lateral ocelli), OOL = Ocello ocular line (distance from
the outer edge of a lateral ocellus to the compound eye), ØOD =
Ocellus diameter, F = Flagellomere; ZDAMU = Insect collection, Zoology
Department, Aligarh Muslim University.
KEY TO THE INDIAN SPECIES OF THE GENUS APHAERETA FOERSTER
||Eyes moderately large, atmost 2.5x longer than temple
in dorsal view. Notauli confined to anterior margin of disc. Fore
wing second sub marginal cell strongly narrowed apically...................................................................................2
||Eyes large, 4.25x longer than temple in dorsal view. Notauli visible
up to half of the disc. Fore wing second sub marginal cell slightly
narrowed apically, almost rectangular ...................................Aphaereta indica sp. nov.
||Propodeum with 5-sided areola. Fore wing vein r 0.25x as long as
stigma width; vein m-cu 1.8x longer than 2 RS. Ovipositor sheath with
about 14 long setae arranged on either side.....................................................................................Aphaereta
minys sp. nov.
||Propodeum with 3-sided areola. Fore wing vein r 1.6x as long as
stigma width; vein m-cu 2.8x longer than 2 RS. Ovipositor sheath with
about 4 long setae arranged on either side........................................................................................................................................................................Aphaereta
breviterebrata sp. nov.
Aphaereta breviterebrata Samiuddin and Ahmad, sp. nov.
Body length, 1.3 mm (Fig. 1-4).
||Aphaereta breviterebrata sp. nov.
1. Head, dorsal view
2. Mesosoma, dorsal view
3. Propodeum and Metasoma, dorsal view
Transverse, dorsally 1.2x as wide as mesosoma (15.5:13), 1.7x wider than
long (15.5:9); eye moderately large, without setae, in lateral view 3.6x
longer than temple width (6.5:1.8), in dorsal view bulging, 2.2x longer
than temple (6.5:2.9). Face, somewhat bulging laterally, smooth and polished.
Frons, vertex smooth and polished. Mandibles tridentate, tooth 3 and 2
sub equally long, 3 more pointed than 2, as wide at base as 1, 1 slightly
shorter than 3, 2 more wider at base than 1 and 3. Antennae 19-segmented
(range 18-19 segmented), 1.9x longer than body (102:54), F1 0.8x as long
as F2 (6.5:8), as long as F3 (6.5:6.5) (range 6-6.5:6-6.5); setae longer
than flagellomere width with a more longer setae on almost each segments.
Mesoscutum almost bare, smooth and shiny, with 1-2 setae scattered
along notauli and 1-2 adjacent midpit; notauli short, confined to transverse
marginal carina at edge of anterior declivity; midpit somewhat large,
deep, rounded to oval in shape. Scutellum bulging. Sternaulus crenulate
throughout, extinct before mid-coxa. Propodeum with mid longitudinal carina
on basal half, bifurcating to form an areola on posterior half, otherwise
smooth and shiny. The rest of the mesosoma smooth and polished.
Forewing M+CU visible apically, faint basally; stigma linear, r 1.6x longer
than stigma width (3:1.9); m-cu 2.8x longer than 2RS (8.5:3); 3RSa 2.7x
longer than 2RS (8:3); second sub marginal cell strongly narrowed apically;
2RS 2.4x longer than r-m (3:1.25).
Petiole smooth and polished, 0.9-1.3x as long as its apical width (8:7.5)
(range 6-8:6.5-7.5); apex 1.7x wider than base (7.5:4.5); basal carina
visible almost until apical margin, converged and meeting each other.
Ovipositor concealed in sheath, short, 0.5x as long as petiole (4:8),
ovipositor sheath with about 4-4 long setae arranged on either side.
Body largely dark brown; scape, pedicel and sometime F1 basally, face,
T2, mesosoma, petiole and legs yellowish; head, apical half of metasoma,
ovipositor sheath brown to dark brown; wings weakly infuscate.
Similar to female but differs for having antennae 20 segmented and propodeal
areola 3 sided.
Holotype: ♀ INDIA: Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh, 21.x.1999, Coll.
Ahmad Samiuddin. Paratypes: 2♀♀, 1♂, with the
same data as holotype.
The new species, Aphaereta breviterebrata, closely resembles with
the Nearctic species Aphaereta masoni McComb but differs in having:
mesosoma yellowish (mesosoma blackish in A. masoni), petiole smooth,
polished (petiole longitudinally rugulose, striate in A. masoni),
propodeum smooth, polished with mid longitudinal carina on basal half
and an 3 sided areola on posterior half (propodeum rugose in A. masoni).
The name of the species refers to its short ovipositor.
Aphaereta indica Samiuddin and Ahmad, sp. nov.
Body length, 1.6 mm (Fig. 5-9).
||Aphaereta indica sp. nov.
5. Head, lateral view
7. Petiole, dorsal view
9. Ovipositor and ovipositor sheaths
Dorsally 1.4x as wide as mesosoma (17:12). Eye large, in lateral view
4.25x longer than temple width (8.5:2), in dorsal view 4.25x longer than
temple (8.5:2), with few (3-4) very short setae. Face, frons, vertex,
smooth and polished. Mandible 2.8x longer that its apical width (8.5:3)
with tooth 1 and 3 extending equally distad from base; tooth 2 narrow
and acute apically. Antenna 21-segmented (range 20-21 segmented), 1.9
x longer than body (123:64.5), F1 0.7x as long as F2 (6.5:9.5), 0.9x as
long as F3 (6.5:7.5), setae longer than flagellomere width.
Mesoscutum nearly bare, smooth and polished, with few setae scattered
along anterior declivity, 2-3 along notauli and 2-3 adjacent midpit; notauli
finely crenulate anteriorly, visible until half of disc and smooth; mid
pit deep and oval. Sternaulus crenulate, extinct before mid-coxa. Propodeum
smooth, polished with median longitudinal carina on basal half, bifurcating
to form a 5-sided areola on posterior half.
Fore wing M+CU pigmented apically; pterostigma slightly wedge shaped to
linear; r 0.8x as long as stigma width (2.5:3.25); m-cu twice longer than
2RS (9:4.5); 3RSa 2.6x longer than 2RS (11.5:4.5); second sub marginal
cell slightly narrowed distally, almost rectangular; 2RS 1.8x longer than
r-m (4.5:2.5). Hind wing with cu-a absent, combined M+CU and 1 M very
weakly pigmented overall, RS and 2 M indistinct.
Petiole smooth and polished, 0.9x as long as its apical width (9:10),
apex twice wider than base (10:5), basal carina visible until apical margin
and converging at apex. Ovipositor about 1.3x longer than mesosoma (33:25),
1.2x longer than hind tibia (33:26.5), sheaths with 18 long setae arranged
on either side.
Body largely brown to yellowish brown; scape, pedicel, palpi, coxae, trochanter,
trochantellus and mandible yellowish; apical 5 flagellomeres of antennae
whitish yellow; head dark brown; wing infuscate, venation light brown.
Holotype: ♀ INDIA: Uttar Pradesh, Azamgarh, 03.iv.2000, Coll. Ahmad
Samiuddin. Paratypes: 1♂ with same data as holotype; 1♀
INDIA: Uttar Pradesh, Azamgarh, 11.iii.2001, Coll. Ahmad Samiuddin; 1♀
INDIA: Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh, 16.x.1999, Coll. Ahmad Samiuddin.
The new species, Aphaereta indica, closely resembles with
Aphaereta minys sp. nov. but can easily be differentiated for having:
vein r 0.8x as long as the width of pterostigma (vein r 0.25x as long
as the width of pterostigma in A. minys), head in dorsal view about
1.4x as wide as mesosoma (head in dorsal view about 1.7x as wide as mesosoma
in A. minys), antennae 21 segmented (antennae 18 segmented in minys),
head, mesosoma dark brown to brown (head, mesosoma yellowish except vertex
in A. minys).
The specific name is derived from the name of the country of origin of
Aphaereta minys, Samiuddin and Ahmad, sp. nov.
Body length, 1.1 mm (Fig. 10).
||Aphaereta minys sp. nov. 10. Forewing
Dorsally 1.7x as wide as mesosoma (14:8). Eye moderately large, without
setae in lateral view 2.5x longer than temple width (6:2.5), in dorsal
view 2.5x longer than temple (5.5:2.25). Frons, vertex, smooth polished.
Mandibles 2.2x longer than its apical width (6.5:3) with tooth 1 and 3
about equally well developed, sub equally long, their apex about as wide
as base, tooth 3 acute. Antenna 18 segmented, 1.9 x longer than body (85:44),
F1 0.8x as long as F2 (4.5:5.5) almost as long as F3 (4.5:4.8), setae
longer than the flagellomere width.
Mesoscutum almost bare with 1 to 3 setae scattered along notauli; notauli
short, confined to anterior margin; midpit small, deep, rounded. Propodeum
smooth, polished with median longitudinal carina on basal half, bifurcating
to form five-sided areola on posterior half.
Forewing M+CU pigmented apically; stigma wedge shaped to linear; r very
short, about 0.25x as long as pterostigma width (0.5:2); m-cu 1.8x longer
than 2RS (5.5:3); 3RSa 3.2x longer than 2RS (9.5:3); second submarginal
cell strongly narrowed apically; 2RS twice longer than r-m (3:1.5). Hind
wing with cu-a absent; M+CU+1 M weakly pigmented basally; RS and 2 M indistinct.
Petiole smooth and polished, 0.9x as long as its apical width (4:4.5),
apex 1.8x wider than base (4.5:2.5), basal carina visible until apical
margin and parallel sided. Ovipositor 1.2 x longer than hind tibia (21:17.5),
ovipositor sheath with about 14 long setae arranged on either side.
Body yellowish brown; legs, apical 4/5th flagellomeres, scape and pedicel
yellowish; head honey yellow except vertex which is brownish.
sHolotype: ♀ INDIA: Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh, 21.x.1999, Coll.
The new species Aphaereta minys sp. nov. closely resembles with
Aphaereta pallidinotum Wharton but differs in having: eye in lateral
view 2.5x longer than temple width (eye in lateral view 4.5x-5.7x longer
than temple width in A. pallidinotum), fore wing M+CU pigmented
apically (fore wing M+CU pigmented throughout in A. pallidinotum),
stigma wedge shaped to linear (stigma nearly linear in A. pallidinotum),
basal carina parallel at apex (basal carina converging at apex in A.
This is a quite distinctive species and can easily be separated from
all other described species of Aphaereta by the following combination
of characters. Body 1.1 mm in length; mesonotum, petiole, mesosoma, head
(except vertex) yellowish; proportion of the width of head and thorax
(14:8); vein r very short about 0.25x as long as pterostigma width; ovipositor
1.2x as long as hind tibia and about as long as metasoma.
The specific name refers to the very small size of the species.
We thank Dr. M. Hayat and Dr. Shujauddin for reviewing the manuscript
and offering useful suggestions. Authors are also thankful to Chairman,
Department of Zoology for laboratory facilities.