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Elachertus Spinola, 1811 comparative info return to: prev home
Flagellar formula 1,4,2; males without funicular branches; in males, lateral surface of scape with area of sensory pits restricted to its apical third, the pits forming tight group, frequently toucing each other (usually requires slide mounting of scape). Notauli complete (but sometimes faint, especially in E. louisiana (Girault), curving to meet axillae well anteriad of scutellar margin in some species. Mesoscutal midlobe with 3 or more pairs of setae, sometimes with irregularly placed setae; if with only 3 pairs of setae, then the median pair is smallest (Boucek, 1988). Scutellum with faint submedian grooves that meet posteriorly to form a U-shaped groove (grooves sometimes sinuate, like in Deutereulophus, in some undescribed species tentatively assigned here), scutellum without a median groove, sculpture absent or very weak and sunken. Postmarginal vein longer than stigmal vein. Propodeum without plicae or costula; median carina usually simple, often slightly Y-shaped anteriorly; median panels smooth, not rugulose. Compare with: Xanthellum (males only), Hyssopus, Miotropis, Deutereulophus, Diglyphomorpha.

Elachertus habitus.JPG (50888 bytes)  Elachertus male antenna.JPG (14618 bytes)
1a-b: Elachertus loh Schauff habitus (left), and E. atus Schauff male antenna (right)

Elachertus mesosoma.JPG (31864 bytes) elachertus louisiana mesosoma.JPG (25600 bytes)
2a-b: Elachertus fenestratus Nees mesosoma (left), and E. louisiana (Girault) mesosoma

elachertus cacoeciae scutellum.JPG (23345 bytes) Elachertus propodeum.JPG (28019 bytes)
3a-b: E. cacoeciae (Howard) scutellum (left), and propodeum (right)

Biology: Parastioids of Lepidoptera larvae in concealed situations.

Comments: Large genus typical of an easily recognized morphotype in the Eulophidae. Elachertus may prove strongly paraphyletic, with elements belonging in several related genera.

Comparative information:

Xanthellum: (Males only) Not distinguishable using generic characters. Females are brachypterous and easily distinguishable, and males are best identified by association with the females. The males that I have seen are small and brown, with a very thin, laminar supracoxal flange, strongly defined antennal scrobes, distinctly setose eyes, and flattened flagellum. Unfortunately, some Elachertus males have one or all of these characters as well.

Hyssopus: Mesoscutal midlobe with only 2 pairs of setae. Pronotal shape is of little use in distinguishing this genus from Elachertus, as most species of Elachertus have exactly the same form of pronotum.

Miotropis: Sublateral grooves of scutellum incomplete or absent under normal (up to 50x) magnification, extending as distinct grooves at most to sockets of posterior pair of scutellar setae. Unfortunately, there are still some North American "Elachertus" that have exactly the same form of scutellum. Some species of Miotropis have irregular rugae on the median propodeal panels, often highlighted by a different color from the rest of the propodeum, which is a state never found in Elachertus in its current interpretation. There are other Miotropis which are not distinguishable from these Elachertus with incomplete scutellar grooves using any generic characters. This should be kept in mind if correct specific identification of such specimens is important.

Deutereulophus: Sublateral scutellar grooves present, sinuate and converging medially (not unique). Median carina of propodeum forked at nucha, forming large areole enclosing nucha; plicae incomplete, projecting from anterior corners of nuchal areole; carina present posterior to spiracle, patch of setae usually present posterior to carina, usually distinct from callar setae. Petiole with dorsal and lateral flanges. Should be distinguished using a complete combination of characters, as some Elachertus have a similarly shaped pronotum and propodeum, with an areolate median carina, but do not possess any of the other characters.

Diglyphomorpha: Scutellum with a sometimes faint median groove. Propodeum with irregular transverse rugae. Not easily confused with most Elachertus.

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Boucek, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera). A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

Schauff, M.E. 1985. Taxonomic study of the Nearctic species of Elachertus Spinola (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 87: 843-858.

Schauff, M.E. & J. LaSalle. 1993. Nomenclatural notes on genera of North American Eulophidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 95(3): 488-503.

Image credits: Schauff (1985).