Closterocerus sensu strictu face (left), and subgenus Achrysocharis face (right)
Biology: Host range very broad, if reliable: Primary parasitoids of leaf-miners and gall-formers, also reported from Symphyta eggs [Argidae, Diprionidae], armored scales, and psyllids.
Comments: Controversial in placement and scope. Gumovsky (2001) has recently expanded the limits fo the genus to include a number of formerly recognized genera. In total, this genus contains several synonyms that are nevertheless usually or always identifiable morphologically, including Neochrysocharis, Asecodes, and Achrysocharis. Slide-mouting may be desirable for a 100% accurate identification. This genus is probably closely related to the Ceranisus-group, and shares with that group, Ionympha, and Chrysocharis (Zaommomyia) the subtorular grooves. Unfortunately, the subtorular grooves are frequently difficult to properly assess, and may appear to be present when they should be interpreted as absent, or indeed the difference between true and false subtorular grooves may be entirely illusory. Under the current system, Closterocerus is likely paraphyletic because there is no apomorphy possessed by Closterocerus that is not possessed by the Ceranisus group, Ionympha, and Chrysocharis (Zaommomyia). It overlaps Chrysocharis (Zaommomyia) such that some Neotropical species cannot be placed to genus. Another closely related group is the Omphale-group, some species of which are nearly identical with Closterocerus species aside from the presence of enlarged volsellar setae and sometimes differences in the clypeus. Callifrons seems to be intermediate between these two groups. Finally, the subgenus Achrysocharis is very similar to the genus Chrysonotomyia, separated only by the number of setal tracks radiating from the stigmal apex. Reports that Achrysocharis species do not have a delimited clypeus are generally erroneous: the clypeus may or may not appear delimited based on the size and condition of the specimen.
Omphale: Subtorular grooves absent in many species. Clypeus usually set off by distinct sutures (dorsal suture rarely missing), much broader than long in many species, or with semicircular dorsal margin or protruding ventral margin. Mandibles exodont in a few species. Male genitalia usually with enlarged volsellar setae.
Proacrias: Propodeum with a modified median carina: either broadened and dorsally flattened, or posteriorly split.
Chrysonotomyia: 2 setal tracks radiating from stigma. Clypeus set off by distinct sutures. Mainly confusable with the subgenus Achrysocharis, which have 1 pair of mesoscutal setae, distinguished by having only 1 setal track radiating from the stigma. Further study may reveal intermediates requiring reassessment of the limits of these two groups.
Achrysocharoides: Subtorular grooves absent. Transverse frontal groove always straight, not v-shaped, and usually distant from median ocellus (close to median ocellus in Closterocerus with 1 pair of scutellar setae). Mesoscutum and especially scutellum often with distinct groups of pits or longitudinal foveae; mesoscutal midlobe with 2 pairs of setae. Usually easily distinguished.
Ceranisus, Thripobius: Head with a complete sulcus across vertex; frontal grooves reaching above ocellus in Thripobius. Entire body very weakly sculpted or smooth, almost always brownish with a light-beige or yellowish antenna (Closterocerus nearly always dark, metallic, or yellowish). Parasitoids only of larval thrips.
Chrysocharis: Subtorular grooves absent. Scrobal depressions usually meeting before reaching transverse groove, but rarely meeting at groove or reaching groove before meeting, especially in males; interscrobal ridge not meeting transverse groove in females. Flagellar formula 3,3,2 or 3,4,1, very rarely with 3 claval segments (in C. chlorus Graham and C. imbrasus (Walker)); apical anellus enlarged in females, up to 0.33x basal funicular segment length. Postmarginal vein almost always more than 1.5x stigmal vein length, rarely as little as 1x stigmal vein length.
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Gumovsky, A.V. 2001. The status of some genera allied to Chrysonotomyia and Closterocerus (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae, Entedoninae), with description of a new species from Dominican Amber. Phegea 29(4): 125-141.
Hansson, C. 1990. A taxonomic study on the Palearctic species of Chrysonotomyia Ashmead and Neochrysocharis Kurdjumov (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Entomologica Scandinavica. 21: 29-52.
Hansson, C. 1994. Re-evaluation of the genus Closterocerus Westwood (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), with a revision of the Nearctic species. Entomologica Scandinavica. 25: 1-25.
Hansson, C. 1996. Taxonomic revision of the Nearctic species of Omphale Haliday (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Entomologica Scandinavica supplement 49.
Schauff, M.E. 1991. The Holarctic genera of Entedoninae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 26.