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Pnigalio Schrank, 1802 comparative info return to: prev(eul 25) prev(eul 29) home
Eyes setose. Flagellum usually with 4 funicular segments, rarely with 3 or 5; basal 3 funicular segments branched in males. Notauli incomplete or ending in anterior half of axillae; mesoscutal midlobe usually evenly and irregularly setose (especially in anterior half), rarely arranged in rows; scutellum usually without submedian or sublateral grooves (rarely with traces of sublateral grooves visible); axillae usually smooth in contrast to the usually sculptured mesoscutum and scutellum. Postmarginal vein 2x stigmal vein length or longer; speculum present or absent, basal cell bare; basal and cubital veins setose. Propodeum with complete plicae and median carina, almost always with costula (absent in small males and in females of a few species); plicae relatively straight in anterior half of propodeum and sharply convergent posterior to where they meet the costula (rarely, when costula is absent, straight and diverging posteriorly); costula and plicae sometimes obscured by transverse rugae; median area of propodeum almost always smooth and shiny (rarely reticulate). Petiole at most slightly longer than broad, smooth, exposed dorsally. Compare with: Notanisomorphella, Sympiesis, Hemiptarsenus.

pnigalio mesoscutum.JPG (35997 bytes) pnigalio maculipes antennae.JPG (21179 bytes)
1a-c: Pnigalio mesoscutum (left), and P. maculipes (Crawford) female and male antennae (center and right, typical of genus)

pnigalio proximus propodeum.JPG (25776 bytes)pnigalio flavipes propodeum.JPG (27005 bytes)
2a-b: Typical Pnigalio propodea

pnigalio pallipes propodeum.JPG (27407 bytes) pnigalio levis propodeum.JPG (26078 bytes)
3a-b: Atypical Pnigalio propodea: P. pallipes (Provancher) (left), and P. levis Yoshimoto (right)

pnigalio metacomet female antenna.JPG (6274 bytes)
4a: P. pallipes female antenna (atypical of genus)

Biology: Parasitoids of leaf-mining Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and gall-forming sawflies.

Comments: Interesting genus phylogenetically, but I differ from some authors in regarding it as less indistinct from Sympiesis than some other genera are. Many of the characters used to distinguish problematic species from other genera are unreliable. Ratzeburgiola Erdös is an extralimital genus with a similar costula, but with complete scutellar grooves, usually placed among the elachertines, but it seems barely distinct from Pnigalio.

Comparative information: No other Nearctic genus of Eulophinae with incomplete notauli has any species with a costula, and the characters given below are for distinction of those genera from the rare forms of Pnigalio that do not have a costula.

Notanisomorphella: Propodeum with complete "step-like" plicae (enclosed median panels of propodeum sharply elevated above lateral areas) immediately medial to spiracles; median panels large, shiny or reticulate. Pnigalio never have raised median propodeal panels in combination with lack of a costula.

Sympiesis: Setae on mesoscutal midlobe usually arranged in regular longitudinal rows (if not then propodeum uniformly reticulate, without median carina or plicae). Plicae extending as straight diagonal lines from spiracle to propodeal nucha, usually incomplete or absent; median carina present or absent. Distinguished from the rare Pnigalio without a costula by propodeal shape and features, and less reliably by arrangement of mesoscutal setae. All Pnigalio have a median carina and plicae, while Sympiesis rarely have both. Most Sympiesis have mesoscutal setae arranged in distinct rows, but many do not, and this character should never be used as the sole character separating these genera. The shape of the plicae is especially valuable when distinguishing these two genera, as they arise between the median carina and the spiracles in Pnigalio and almost always proceed more or less straight posteriad until they meet the costula, at which point they begin converging strongly, such that there is a corner where the plicae meet the costula. In the exceptions, they are straight and diverge posteriorly. In Sympiesis, the plicae, when present, arise nearly adjacent to the spiracles and proceed as essentially straight diagonal lines to the nucha (convergent posteriorly).

Hemiptarsenus: Toruli very high on face, far above lower eye margin; scape exceeding vertex (scape slightly exceeds vertex in some other genera). Forewing and costal cell unusually long and narrow: forewing at least 2.6x longer than broad and costal cell 7-15x longer than broad; some females brachypterous. Propodeum with or without median carina and plicae, never with a costula; sometimes with raised median panels, especially in forms where propodeum is <1.75x broader than long. Legs elongate. Not resembling Pnigalio in any way except body shape and sculpture in some, and propodeal sculpture is always sufficient to separate these genera.

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References

Miller, C.D.F. 1970. The Nearctic species of Pnigalio and Sympiesis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 68.

Yoshimoto, C. 1983. Review of North American Pnigalio Schrank (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Canadian Entomologist. 115: 971-1000.

Image credits: 1a, 3a-b: Yoshimoto (1983). 1b-c, 2a-b, 4a: Miller (1970).