December 11, 2012

Canadian Microgastrinae described by L. A. Provancher. Part I

One of the main reasons to have this blog is to share new information on species of Canadian Braconidae which may interest biocontrol workers. That includes photos, descriptions, new distribution and host records, etc. The idea is to prepare "Species Profiles" for as many braconids as possible, in time creating a library that might be freely consulted and used by interested researchers.

I am still trying to deposit the photos in the website of the Canadian National Collections of Insects (CNC), to be able to provide high resolution images and distribution maps. But there are some technical details to be sorted out, and thus I have decided to start posting that info in the blog for the time being. As soon as the Species Profiles can be uploaded in the CNC website I will let the readers know.

Today I am sharing colour pictures of the holotypes of three Microgastrinae species described by León Abel Provancher in the 1880's. The specimens are deposited in the Collections de l'Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec; where many specimens collected by Provancher are well kept and preserved. I thank Gisèle Wagner and Jean-Marie Perron for kindly loaning the specimens. I am also very much indebted to Dicky Yu (CNC) for his extraordinary work compiling the information that makes Taxapad (all distribution and host records provided below are from Taxapad, although I plan to increase that by adding later new information from specimens deposited in the CNC). 

Cotesia acauda (Provancher, 1886). Originally described as "Microgaster acaudus", it is now placed in the genus Cotesia. The head of the female holotype is missing  but otherwise the specimen is in relatively good condition. The species is distributed in eastern North America (Canada: Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec; U.S.A: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). It has been reared from two lepidopteran species of the Family Geometridae: Rheumaptera prunivorata and R. undulata.

Dolichogenidea clavata (Provancher, 1881). Originally described as "Microgaster clavatus", it is now placed in the genu Dolichogenidea. The known distribution of the species in both eastern and western North America suggests is widely distributed (Canada: Ontario, Quebec; U.S.A: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin). It has been reared from five lepidopteran species of the Families Pyralidae (Etiella zinckenella) and Tortricidae (Archips argyrospila, Epinotia subviridis, Grapholita molesta, and Pseudexentera mali).

Glyptapanteles pallipes (Reinhard, 1880). The species described by Provancher in 1886 as "Microgaster longicornis" was long ago synonymized under Reinhard's name. Glyptapanteles pallipes is a species widely distributed in the Nearctic, Palearctic and Oriental regions. It has been recorded as a parasitoid of many lepidopteran species, including some pest species of agriculture and forestry,  in four families: Lasiocampidae (Malacosoma disstria), Noctuidae (Acronicta tridens, Agrapha agnata, Autographa gamma, Autographa jota, Autographa nigrisigna, Autographa pulchrina,Diachrysia chrysitis, Lacanobia oleracea, Mamestra brassicae, Melanchra persicariae, Naenia typica, Plusia festucae, Sesamia inferens, Syngrapha epigaea, and Trichoplusia orichalcea), Pieridae (Pieris napi), and Pyralidae (Pleuroptya ruralis, and Sitochroa verticalis). Some of those records (especially earlier references) might prove to be wrong in time.

Photographs of the above mentioned species had never been taken and will hopefully contribute to our documentation of the Canadian fauna of Braconidae parasitizing Lepidoptera. In future posts I will add photos and new information about other species described by Provancher.


  1. Congatulations on your fledgling braconid blog! I'm sure braconid workers, and fans of braconids in general will appreciate your hard work. Regards. JR

  2. Thank you very much, JR, for your constant support and help with questions about computer stuff... cannot make it without people like you!