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- Darditilla Casal, 1965. Eos, Madrid 41: 9–18.
Darditilla botija Casal, 1965, by original designation.
Male. Males of Darditilla can be separated from other South American mutillid genera by the apical row of parallel bristles on T2–4 or T2–5 (e.g. Fig. 1E) and by the ventral margin of the clypeus that is preceded by a transverse furrow (e.g. Figs 3D, 7D) and is sometimes expanded into a broad fig-like structure over the mandibles (Fig. 1D). Additionally, Darditilla males have the scape bicarinate with a relatively flat or concave anterior surface between the carinae (although the dorsal carina is often obscure or obliterated); the axillae unarmed posteriorly; T1 broadly rounded into T2; the paramere downcurved apically; and the cuspis short and pad-like (e.g. Fig. 12). Female. Females of Darditilla are most readily recognized by their granulate pygidium (e.g. Fig. 6E) and also have a unique combination of characters, wherein the clypeus is bidentate with the teeth slightly farther apart than the antennal tubercles (e.g. Fig. 8C); the mandible is acuminate apically and has its largest tooth situated in the basal half of the internal margin; the mesosoma is constricted anterior to the propodeal spiracles, lacks a scutellar scale, lacks a sharp dorsal tubercle directly anterior to the propodeal spiracle, and has the lateral mesonotal teeth small (e.g. Fig. 6A); T1 is broadly rounded into T2; and the metasomal setae are simple.
Darditilla species are known from throughout South America, putative members of Darditilla are known throughout Central America as well.
Casal (1965) described the genus from a single male specimen and used some synapomorphies of that species and its relatives in his generic description. The newly associated males described here match the diagnostic features listed by Casal and other authors in keys (e.g. Brothers 2006), but in two of the species: Darditilla bejaranoi and Darditilla debilis, the clypeus is less strongly modified. Rather than expanding forward to cover the mandibles, the ventral clypeal margin of these species is short, yet still has the ventral margin angled anteriorly.
Darditilla is apparently closely related to Pseudomethoca and could be nested within that genus. Males of some Nearctic and Central American Pseudomethoca species have thickened setae on T2–4 that resemble the bristles of Darditilla and some females currently placed in Pseudomethoca have a granulate pygidium. Further complicating this situation, Casal’s treatments of Darditilla focused on southern South America and the types of northern Neotropical Pseudomethoca species consistent with Darditilla were not available to him (Casal 1965, 1968a). Without phylogenetic analysis or careful study of both sexes of these species, we cannot determine which of these northern Neotropical Pseudomethoca should be transferred to Darditilla, or whether Darditilla is even a valid genus. We, therefore, maintain Darditilla using the aforementioned diagnoses and hope that this paper will facilitate the future studies needed to clarify the validity and limits of this genus.
- Luz, D; Williams, K; 2014: The first sexual associations in the genus Darditilla Casal, 1965 (Hymenoptera, Mutillidae) ZooKeys, (454): 41-68. doi
- Nonveiller G (1990) Catalogue of the Mutillidae, Myrmosidae and Bradynobaenidae of the Neotropical Region including Mexico (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Hymenopterorum Catalogus (Nova Editio), 18. SPB Academic Publishing, Den Haag, 150 pp.
- Quintero D, Cambra R (2001) On the identity of Scaptopoda F. Lynch Arribálzaga, new taxonomic changes and new distribution records for Neotropical Mutillidae (Hymenoptera), with notes on their biology. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 127(3): 291–304.
- Casal O (1965) Darditilla nuevo género neotropical de Sphaerothalminae [sic!] (Hym. Mutillidae). Eos, Revista Española de Entomología, Madrid 41: 9–18.
- Brothers D (2006) Família Mutillidae. In: Fernandez F Sharkey M (Eds) Introducción a los Hymenoptera de la Región Neotropical. Sociedad Colombiana de Entomologia & Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá DC, 577–594.
- Casal O (1968a) Aportaciones para el conocimiento de las Mutillidae de la Republica Argentina. I. – Las hembras del genero Darditilla (Hymenoptera). Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 30(1/4): 83–96.