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Body length 8.9 mm (sole female) 7.9 – 8.2 (2 males). Ovipositor length 8.9 mm. Gena rounded or with an obtuse angle posterolaterally. Longitudinal groove on interantennal prominence absent. Protuberances on occiput absent. Propodeum with carinae forming areolae, median areola rounded anteriorly, or with carinae forming areolae, median areola not rounded anteriorly. Notauli well-impressed, smooth without crenulae, or with one or two crenulae restricted to extreme anterior apex along border of mesoscutum. Posterior margin of syntergum 2+3 straight. Median syntergite 2 + 3 mostly weakly rugose with fine transverse striae apically. Forewing banded yellow and infuscate. Color as in Figs 27, 28. Color variation: There is little color variation across the three specimens examined.
BOLD process ID/ Janzen parasitoid voucher/GenBank accession:
Guanacaste province, Costa Rica.Click here for a distribution map.
All three rearings are from Pyralidae (Epipaschiinae) gregarious leaf webbers (Deuterollyta oediperalis) that live in conspicuous groups of 2–50 sib larvae moving freely through the silk and leaf mass in the crowns of rain forest understory Lauraceae (in this case, Nectandra hihua and an unidentified species of Lauraceae). Oviposition into one of the unrestrained caterpillars in the silk and leaf tangle will be a quite different challenge from oviposition into a single larva in its nest between two silked-together leaves (as is the case with other Lytopylus). Only DHJPAR0021148 has successfully barcoded, so the grouping of these three individuals as one species is based solely on their morphology. Their host records give credence to this grouping.
The wasp cocoon is spun in the caterpillar’s prepupal chamber on the leaf surface (Fig. 29). The inventory has reared 5,422 epipaschiine pyralids from various food plants in ACG rain forest and dry forest (about half in the Lauraceae) during 33 years, to yield these three Lytopylus specimens (plus one Alabagrus and two Austroearinus). Lytopylus sandraberriosae is a strange agathidine morphologically, biologically, and in COI composition. When we included another outgroup, a species of Alabagrus, in parsimony and NJ analyses (not shown), Lytopylus sandraberriosae did not nest with the other Lytopylus. Rather, Braunsia was positioned as the sister to the remaining Lytopylus. The species could well represent a new genus, but more molecular data is needed to confirm this suspicion.
Named in honor of Sandra Berrios Torres of Atlanta, Georgia, who has enthusiastically supported the conservation of the ACG forest occupied by this parasitoid wasp.
Holotype: ♀, H6432 (DHJPAR0040220) Costa Rica: Alajuela: Area de Conservación Guanacaste: Sector Rincon Rain Forest: Conguera, 2.vii.2010, 10.9159N, 85.2663W, 420m [AEI].
Paratypes [AEI, HIC, INBio]: Costa Rica: Guanacaste: Area de Conservación Guanacaste: Sector Rincon Rain Forest: Conguera, 10.9159N, 85.2663W, 420m: ♂ H6428 (DHJPAR0040219) 4.vii.2010. Camino Rio Francia, 10.9042N, 85.2865W, 410m: ♂ H6628 (DHJPAR0021148) 7.vii.2007.
- Sharkey, M; Clutts, S; Tucker, E; Janzen, D; Hallwachs, W; Dapkey, T; Smith, M; 2011: Lytopylus Förster (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Agathidinae) species from Costa Rica, with an emphasis on specimens reared from caterpillars in Area de Conservación Guanacaste ZooKeys, 130: 379-419. doi