SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.40 issue4New host plant records for Oenomaus ortygnus (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in MexicoFirst Record of Anastrepha flavipennis Greene (Diptera: Tephritidae) and of its Host in the Brazilian Amazon author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Neotropical Entomology

Print version ISSN 1519-566X

Neotrop. entomol. vol.40 no.4 Londrina July/Aug. 2011 



First report of Elasmus polistis Burks (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) recovered from Polistes versicolor (Olivier) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) nests in Brazil



C Dorfey; A Köhler

Lab de Entomologia, Univ de Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brasil





The first record of Elasmus polistis Burks in Polistes versicolor (Olivier) nests in the Rio Grande do Sul state and in Brazil is provided. A total of 173 specimens of P. versicolor and 790 specimens of E.polistis were collected from two nests from Gramado and Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil.

Keywords: Eulophinae, parasitism, Polistinae



A recent reclassification of Eulophidae based on molecular data and phylogenetic analyses has demonstrated that Elasmidae must now be considered a tribe of Eulophidae (Gauthier et al 2000). In such way, the only normally recognized genus of Elasmidae, Elasmus, is now classified as pertaining to Eulophinae, tribe Elasmini, representing about 200 described species (Noyes 1998). Elasmus is cosmopolitan in distribution, although most abundant in the Old World tropics, and species are characterized by their small size (hardly bigger than 1-3 mm), brown or black to yellow body coloration, widened hind coxae, and hind tibia with waved lines or patterns in diamond shape.

Elasmus are in their majority parasitoids of Lepidoptera, although some Hymenoptera, particularly Braconidae and Ichneumonidae, are also recorded as hosts (Gibson 1993). There is also a group of species described as parasitoids of Polistes wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), such as Elasmus schmitti Ruschka and Elasmus biroi Erdös in Western Europe, Elasmus japonicus Ashmed in eastern Paleartic, and Elasmus polistis Burks in North America. These species of Elasmus are characterized by the intense yellow coloration of their bodies, while other species of Elasmus are predominantly dark-colored, and by biological peculiarities such as the creation of a transversal partition in the host cell composed by light brown to black pellets around the inner sides of the cell. This partition seals off the parasite from the host remains preventing contamination from Polistes meconia and body remnants (Reed & Vinson 1979, Gumovsky et al 2007).

Elasmus sp. has been registered in several states of Brazil, such as Mato Grosso, São Paulo and Ceará, but records of species parasitizing hymenopterans are available only for Elasmus languidus De Santis on Apanteles galleriae Wilkinson (Braconidae) in São Paulo (De Santis 1980), Elasmus maculatus Howard on Apanteles americanus Lepeletier (De Santis 1979), A. flaviventris Cresson, A. leucostigmus Ashmead (Thompson 1954), Iphiaulax sp. (Braconidae) (Herting 1977) and Psychidosmicra sp. (Chalcididae) (De Santis 1979) in Ceará hosts.

In here, we first report the occurrence of Elasmus polistis Burks in nests of Polistes versicolor (Olivier) in Brazil and in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. This is also the first record of E. polistis on a Polistes species in South America. Elasmus polistis is a gregarious prepupal or pupal parasitoid which builds a visible black partition in Polistes cells (Nelson 1976). Elasmus polistis is also reported as a parasitoid of several other Polistes species, Polistes exclamans Viereck, P. annularis (L.) and P. fuscatus (F.), P. major (Beauvois), P. metricus Say (Reed & Vinson 1979) and P. dorsalis (F.) (Macom & Landolt 1995), all in North America. There were no records on the occurrence of E. polistis associated with any Polistes species up until now in South America.

Nests in pre and post emergence stage were collected from all over the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, as part of a state survey on the fauna of wasps and conditioned in a plastic recipient covered with nylon net on top for adult emergence. Specimens of Elasmus were observed in two of the nests collected. The first Polistes nest was collected in the municipality of Gramado, RS, Brazil, on March 18, 2006 in a masonry house in the east region of the city, yielding 164 specimens of P. versicolor and 509 of E. polistis (440 females and 69 males). A second nest was collected in Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil, on March 24, 2007 also in a masonry in the central region of the city, yielding nine adults of P. versicolor and 281 specimens of E. polistis (239 females and 42 males).

The specimens of Elasmus collected were deposited in the Entomological Collection of Unisc (CESC), and some were sent to Dr. Alex Gumovski, Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, Ukraine, who identified the specimens as Elasmus polistis, and indicated the specimens collected in South Brazil show little intraspecific variation from specimens of E. polistis collected from North America and Hawaii.

Therefore, this is the first record of E.polistis parasitizing P. versicolor in South America, Brazil and in the Rio Grande do Sul State, adding information about the relationship between these two species.



The authors thank Dr. Alex Gumovski from the Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, Ukraine, for assistance in the identification of specimens of Elasmus polistis.



De Santis L (1979) Catálogo de los himénopteros calcidoideos de América al sur de los Estados Unidos. Buenos Aires, Publicación Especial Comisión de Investigaciones Cientificas Provincia de Buenos Aires, 304p.         [ Links ]

De Santis L (1980) Catalogo de los himenopteros brasilenos de la serie Parasitica incluyendo Bethyloidea. Curitiba, Editora da Universidade Federal do Paraná, 169p.         [ Links ]

Gauthier N, LaSalle J, Quicke DLJ, Godfray HCJ (2000) Phylogeny of Eulophidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea), with reclassification of Eulophinae and the recognition that Elasmidae are derived eulophids. Syst Entomol 25: 521-539.         [ Links ]

Gibson GAP (1993) Family Elasmidae, p.626. In Goulet H, Huber JT (eds) Hymenoptera of the World: an identification guide to families, Ottawa, Research Branch Agriculture Canada Publication 1894/E, 668p.         [ Links ]

Gumovsky A, Rusina L, Firman L (2007) Bionomics and morphological and molecular characterization of Elasmus schmitti and Baryscapus elasmi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae), parasitoids associated with a paper wasp, Polistes dominulus (Vespoidea, Vespidae). Entomol Sci 10: 21-34.         [ Links ]

Herting B (1977) Hymenoptera. A catalogue of parasites and predators of terrestrial arthropods. Section A. Host or prey/enemy. 4. Canada, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux. Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, 206p.         [ Links ]

Macom TE, Landolt PJ (1995) Elasmus polistis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) recovered from nests of Polistes dorsalis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Florida. Fla Entomol 78: 612-614.         [ Links ]

Nelson JM (1976) Elasmus polistis Burks (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) reported in Oklahoma. Proc Okla Acad Sci 56: 55.         [ Links ]

Noyes JS (1998) Catalogue of the Chalcidoidea of the World, Biodiversity catalogue database and image library CDroom series, ETI Biodiversity Center, Amsterdam.         [ Links ]

Reed HC, Vinson SB (1979) Observations of the life history and behavior of Elasmus polistis Burks (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae). J Kans Entomol Soc 52: 247-257.         [ Links ]

Thompson WR (1954) A catalogue of the parasites and predators of insect pests, Section 2, Host parasite catalogue. Ottawa, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, 227p.         [ Links ]



Cecília Dorfey
Lab de Entomologia, Univ de Santa Cruz do Sul
Av. Independência, 2293, sala 1509
96815-900, Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brasil

Received 26 August 2010 and accepted 05 December 2010



Edited by Fernando B Noll – UNESP

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License