Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 August 2022 | 14(8): 21749–21750
ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)
#8021 | Received 18 May 2022 | Final received 07 July 2022 | Finally accepted 23 July 2022
First report of the mymarid genus Proarescon Huber (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Mymaridae) from India
Ayyavu Athithya 1 & Sagadai Manickavasagam 2
1,2 Parasitoid Taxonomy and Biocontrol laboratory, Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608002, India.
1 firstname.lastname@example.org (corresponding author), 2 email@example.com
Members of the family Mymaridae are called fairyflies and are generally egg parasitoids (except two species) attacking eggs of agriculturally important insects (for details refer Huber (1986) & Huber et al. (2006)). This family is represented by 1,490 described species under 119 genera globally (Noyes 2019) of which only 39 genera and 232 species are known from India (Athithya & Manickavasagam 2022a). Surveys are being conducted across India to locate other mymarid fauna reported elsewhere but not from India. One such survey uncovered Proarescon primitivus (Huber) which is being reported here for the first time from India.
Since 2010, we have been conducting surveys specifically for recovering chalcidoid parasitoids from Western Ghats of Kerala state. Parasitoids were collected using yellow pan traps and pitfall traps and mymarids were sorted out and stored in 70% alcohol at -20 0C. Mymarids were subsequently diagnosed after dissection following Noyes (1982) and Huber (2015). After mounting, images of the mounted parts were captured using a DMC 2900 camera linked to a Leica DM750 phase contrast microscope. The united Zip software was used to obtain stacked images which were further processed using Adobe Photoshop version 7.0.
Proarescon primitivus (Huber) (Image 1a–d): (Type species: Borneomymar primitivum Huber, 2002). Later primitivum was transferred from Borneomymar to a new genus Proarescon by Huber (2017) and the species was named as P. primitivus. Members belonging to the genus Proarescon (Huber) can be diagnosed using the characters: 1. Funicle 8-segmented; 2. clava entire and gradually narrowing apically to a point (Image 1b); 3. Fore wing microtrichia more densely spaced except for an oval area along posterior margin (Image 1c,d).
Proarescon is represented only by two species globally (P. primitivus and P. similis Huber, 2017) of which the species in study belongs to P. primitivus that can be diagnosed using the characters: clava 3.3 times as long as wide, with ventral margin almost straight, cubital line in fore wing extending proximally almost to level of proximal macrochaeta (Image 1a).
Material examined: 08.v.2019, two females with Entomology Department, Annamalai University (EDAU/Mym41/2022). One female on slide under five coverslips, another female on slide under two cover slips, labelled, India: Kerala, Western Ghats (10.77N; 77.06E), pitfall trap, forest floor, coll. Prasanth.
Distribution: India (new record); Indonesia (Huber 2002) and Thailand (Huber 2017).
Recently Athithya & Manickavasagam (2022b) proposed a key to diagnose the generic group initially, followed by diagnosing the particular genus within that generic group to reduce misidentification. In this key, Proarescon fits in Arescon group of genera under couplet 4. Now this genus group is known by two genera (Arescon and Proarescon). However, Proarescon can be differentiated from Arescon as shown in generic diagnosis (in Arescon, funicle 6-segmented, clava entire but not narrowing to a pointed apex and fore wing microtrichia bare to densely setose but without a specific oval area in the posterior margin).
Athithya, A. & S. Manickavasagam (2022a). Checklist of Indian fairyfly (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) parasitoids: An update. Uttar Pradesh Journal of Zoology 43(5): 14–38.
Athithya, A. & S. Manickavasagam (2022b). Present status and key to Indian fairyfly genera (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae). Uttar Pradesh Journal of Zoology 43(1): 60–70.
Huber, J.T. (1986). Systematics, biology, and hosts of the Mymaridae and Mymarommatidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Entomography 4: 185–243.
Huber, J.T. (2002). The basal lineages of Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) and description of a new genus, Borneomymar. Parasitic wasps: evolution, systematics, biodiversity and biological control. International symposium: “Parasitc Hymenoptera: Taxonomy and Biological Control”, pp. 44–53.
Huber, J.T. (2015). World reclassification of the Gonatocerus group of genera (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae). Zootaxa 3967: 1–184. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3967.1.1
Huber, J.T. (2017). Eustochomorpha Girault, Neotriadomerus gen. n., and Proarescon gen. n., (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae), early extant lineages in evolution of the family. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 57: 1–87. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.57.12892
Huber, J.T., Z. Mendel, A. Protasov & J. La Salle (2006). Two new Australian species of Stethynium (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), larval parasitoids of Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Eucalyptus. Journal of Natural History 40: 1909–1921.
Noyes, J.S. (1982). Collecting and preserving chalcid wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Journal of Natural History 16: 315–334.
Noyes, J.S. (2019). Universal Chalcidoidea Database. Worldwide Web electronic Publication. www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/chalcidoids/index.html. Accessed on 20 November 2021.