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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984

Braz. J. Biol. vol.71 no.3 São Carlos Aug. 2011 



First occurrence of Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes (Nixon, 1965) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) in Brazil and new biological data


Primeira ocorrência de Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes (Nixon, 1965) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) no Brasil e novos dados biológicos



Penteado-Dias, AM.I,*; Fernandes, LBR.I; Iemma, LGR.II; Dias, MM.I

IDepartamento de Ecologia e Biologia Evolutiva, Universidade Federal de São Carlos – UFSCar, CP 676, CEP 13 565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brazil
IIPrograma de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal de São Carlos – UFSCar, CP 676, CEP 13 565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brazil




Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes (Nixon, 1965) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) was reared from the host Fountainea ryphea phidile (Geyer, 1837) (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae), collected on Croton floribundus Spreng. (Euphorbiaceae) in São Carlos, São Paulo state, Brazil. The hyperperparasitoids Conura sp. (Hymenoptera, Chalcididae) and a Pteromalidae species are registered on this microgastrine species. Male and female specimens and cocoon of Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes are illustrated for the first time.

Keywords: hyperparasitoids, neotropical, Nymphalidae, parasitoids.


Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes (Nixon, 1965) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) foi obtido do hospedeiro Fontainea ryphea phidile (Geyer, 1837) (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae), cujas larvas foram coletadas sobre Croton floribundus Spreng. (Euphorbiaceae) em São Carlos, estado de São Paulo, Brasil. Os hiperparasitoides Conura sp. (Hymenoptera, Chalcididae) e uma espécie de Pteromalidae são registrados sobre essa espécie de Microgastrinae. Espécimes machos, fêmeas e casulo de Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes são ilustrados pela primeira vez.

Palavras-chave: hiperparasitoides, neotropical, Nymphalidae, parasitoides.



1. Introduction

Microgastrinae is a large subfamily of Braconidae with more than 1500 described species (Shaw, 2006). Protapanteles Ashmead, 1898 currently contain 194 species in Palearctic and Neactic regions (Yu et al., 2005), placed in the popularis group by Nixon (1965). Whitfield et al. (2009) registered one specimen of this genus in Ecuador (South America) on an unidentified caterpillar on a Solanaceae plant. Like all Microgastrinae, species of Protapanteles are koinobiont endoparasitoids of lepidopteran larvae. Known hosts for species of Protapanteles are larvae of Geometridae (Lepidoptera) of the Old World (Yu et al., 2005). Host use was previously unknown for this species and the first host record and other biological information are reported below.


2. Material and Methods

Lepidoptera larvae were collected in Matão (Fazenda Cambuhy) and São Carlos (Fazenda Canchim, EMBRAPA and Parque Eco-Esportivo Damha) municipalities, state of São Paulo, Brazil, on Croton floribundus Spreng (Euphorbiaceae). In the laboratory they were kept individually in plastic containers with moistened filter paper discs and leaves of the host plant species. Containers were cleaned out, old leaves were removed, filter paper discs were remoistened, and new leaves were added to each container several times per week throughout larval development. Each container, including parasitoids and host remains, was placed in a freezer when the parasitoids were observed to have emerged. After, the parasitoids were mounted and deposited in the collection of the Departamento de Ecologia e Biologia Evolutiva, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (DCBU), São Carlos, SP, Brazil. The lepidopterous remains were deposited in this collection also.

The Lepidoptera was identified by the last author; the first author identified the parasitoid as Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes using Nixon (1965), Mason (1981), Papp (1984) and Yu et al. (2005). The illustrations were made using the Automontage system in Leica stereomicroscope and MEV using a Quanta 250 microscope.


3. Results

Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes (Figures 1, 2, 4, 5) was reared from the host Fountainea ryphea phidile (Geyer, 1837) (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae) (Figure 6), collected on the host plant Croton floribundus Spreng (Euphorbiaceae). All were solitary koinobiont endoparasitoids. The adults emerged from yellowish cocoons, and were 3.4-3.8 mm in length, attached to median nervure of the leaves remains (Figure 7) and had a pupal period of nearly seven days. Conura sp. (Hymenoptera, Chalcididae) and a Pteromalidae species emerged as hyperparasitoid from the cocoon of Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes.

To identify the genus Protapanteles particular attention should be paid to smoothness of the propodeum (Figure 10) and laterodistal excavation of the female fore tarsus (Figure 12). Protapanteles (Protapanteles) enephes has the ocelli relatively large, posterior imaginary tangent to fore ocellus transecting deeply the hind pair of ocelli (Figure 8); notauli indistinct (Figure 9) propodeum rugo-rugulose (Figure 10), tergite I tending to be widened posteriorly and with the sculpture of its horizontal part intrincated (Figure 11), inner spur of the hind tibia slightly longer than half basitarsus (Figures 5, 13), cheeks bright yellow to rusty (Figure 3).

Acknowledgements – We thank CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) and INCT HYMPAR SUDESTE (Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia dos Hymenoptera Parasitoides da Região Sudeste Brasileira) for financial support. We are also grateful to those responsible for the collection sites in allowing us access.



MASON, WRM., 1981. The polyphyletic nature of Apanteles Foerster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): a phylogeny and reclassification of Microgastrinae. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, vol. 115, p. 147.         [ Links ]

NIXON, GEJ., 1965. A reclassification of the tribe Microgasterini (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Bullettin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology), Suppl. 2, p. 1-284.         [ Links ]

PAPP, J. 1984. A survey of the European species of Apanteles Forst. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae: Microgastrinae), VIII. The metacarpalis-, formosus-, popularis – and suevus-group. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici, vol. 76, p. 265-295.         [ Links ]

SHAW, SR., 2006 . Familia Braconidae. In HANSON, PE. and GAULD, ID. Hymenoptera del Neotrópico. Memoirs of American Entomological Institute. p. 487-525. vol. 77.         [ Links ]

WHITFIELD, JB., RODRIGUEZ, JJ. and MASONICK, PK., 2009. Reared microgastrine wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from Yanayacu Niological Station and environs (Napo Province, Ecuador): Diversity and host specialization. Journal of Insect Science, vol. 9, p. 1-22. PMid:19613864.        [ Links ]

YU, DS., van ACHTERBERG, C. and HORSTMANN, K., 2005. World Ichneumonoidea. Taxonomy, Biology, Morphology and Distribution. Vancouver: Taxapad. DVD/CD.         [ Links ]



Received July 12, 2010
Accepted August 16, 2010
Distributed August 31, 2011



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