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HOLOTYPE female (deposited in UB): “COSTA RICA, Cartago-Jose, Cerro de la Muerte, 3000 m, 2.X.1988. Col. Hanson” (white label), “Quercus costaricensis, fruit (acorn) galls” (white label), Holotype of Zapatella grahami ♀ Pujade-Villar & Melika n. gen & n. sp. design. JP-V 2012” (red label). PARATYPES (5 males and 20 females): 3 males and 14 females with the same data as the holotype and 1 male and 1 female with the similar data, only the collecting date is II.1988. 2 males and 10 females are deposited in UB, 1 male and 5 females in PDL, 1 male and 3 females in MZUCR, 1 male and 2 females USNM.
In Zapatella three species, Zapatella oblata, Zapatella grahami sp. n. and Zapatella nievesaldreyi sp. n., have the head and mesosoma partially dark brown to black. Zapatella oblata differs from the two other mentioned species by a very long median mesoscutal line which extending to 2/3 of the mesoscutum length, while in Zapatella grahami and Zapatella nievesaldreyi the median mesoscutal line is absent or present in a form of a very short triangle. In Zapatella grahami the females are much darker, POL 1.4 times as broad as OOL (Fig. 2), bottom of scutellar foveae with rugae (Fig. 11), and the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium 7.5–8.5 times as long as broad (Figs 14, 16). In Zapatella nievesaldreyi the females are lighter, POL equal OOL (Fig. 20), bottom of scutellar foveae smooth and without rugae (Fig. 22), and the prominent part of the ventral spine of the hypopygium 6.0–7.0 times as long as broad (Figs 28–29).
Female (Figs 1–3, 6, 8, 9–16).
Length. 2.6–3.2 mm (n=15).
Coloration. Body, including antennae and legs predominantly dark to chestnut brown. Head, brown with more or less extensive black areas on lower face, basal part of genae, central part of frons and vertex; posteriorly head dark brown to black. Antenna uniformly dark brown, F1–F5 lighter; mesosoma laterally black, except brown dorsolateral area of pronotum; propleura black; mesoscutum brown, with black stripes along anterior parallel and parapsidal lines; mesoscutellum dark brown to black, with slightly lighter scutellar foveae. Propodeum uniformly black; axillula yellowish; legs uniformly brown, with darker hind legs; metasoma brown, anterodorsally darker.
Head (Figs 1–3). Uniformly and delicately reticulated, with few white setae, 1.8–2.0 times as broad as long from above, 1.3–1.5 times as broad as high in frontal view and slightly broader than mesosoma. Gena broadened behind eye, as broad as transverse diameter of eye; malar space 0.35–0.4 times as long as height of eye, with delicate striae radiating from clypeus and nearly reaching eye margin, malar sulcus absent. POL 1.4 times as long as OOL; OOL 2.5 times as long as length of lateral ocellus and 1.8 times as long as LOL. Transfacial distance nearly 1.2 times as broad as height of eye; diameter of antennal torulus around 3.8 times as great as distance between them, distance between torulus and inner margin of eye equal to or slightly longer than diameter of torulus; inner margins of eyes parallel; lower face delicately coriaceous, with dense white setae, the median elevated area smooth. Clypeus small, squared, smooth, impressed in basal part, ventrally straight; anterior tentorial pits, epistomal sulcus and clypeo-pleurostomal line indistinct. Frons, vertex, interocellar area and occiput delicately reticulate. Postocciput alutaceous and shiny, smooth and impressed around occipital foramen; posterior tentorial pits large; height of occipital foramen as long as height of postgenal bridge; hypostomal carina emarginate, not going around oral foramen, continuing into gular sulcus. Labial palpus 3-segmented, terminal peg distinct, all three segments densely setose; maxillary palpus 5-segmented, terminal peg distinct, three terminal segments densely setose. Antenna (Fig. 6). With 11 flagellomeres (14: 9×8: 15×8: 19: 15: 14: 13: 11: 10: 10: 9: 8: 16); longer than head+mesosoma (48:34); pedicel globose, as long as broad; F1 as long as scapus; F2 1.2–1.3 times as long as F1; F1=F3; F4–F5 subequal and shorter, F6–F10 shorter and progressively shortening in length; F11 twice as long as F10; placodeal sensilla distinct on F6–F11, indistinct but present on F4–F5, absent on F1–F3.
Mesosoma (Figs 9–12). 1.2–1.3 times as long as high in lateral view, with few white setae. Mesoscutum as long as broad, or only slightly longer than broad in dorsal view; with sparse scattered setae and transverse, delicate, interrupted striae which connect with longitudinally orientated weak striae, forming an irregular network of striae, and an irregularly reticulate surface sculpture. Notauli incomplete, extending at most to half length of mesoscutum; converging, deep and broad posteriorly. Anterior parallel lines extending to ½ length of mesoscutum; parapsidal lines distinct and broad, starting from posterior margin and extending to ½ length of mesoscutum; median mesoscutal line very short or absent. Mesoscutellum 0.5 times as long as mesoscutum, as long as broad, not overhanging metanotum, center of disk reticulate, sides and posterior 1/3 dull rugose; scutellar foveae present, ovate, not delimited posteriorly, bottom shiny, with some rugae; median carina broad. Mesopleuron uniformly delicately reticulate, smooth and shiny basally; mesopleural triangle conspicuously setose; dorsal axillar area coriaceous with numerous setae, lateral axillar area reticulo-carinate, without setae; axillula smooth, with white setae; subaxillular bar smooth, shiny, narrower than height of metanotal trough; postalar process long, strong, reticulate; metapleural sulcus reaching mesopleuron in upper 2/3 of its height. Metascutellum strongly reticulate, rectangular. Metanotal trough with short white setae; ventral impressed area at least twice as narrow as height of metascutellum, delicately reticulate. Propodeum setose lateraly, glabrous centrally; central propodeal area smooth, shiny, with many irregular wrinkles and rugae, lateral propodeal carinae weak, diverging anteriorly and converging in posterior 1/3. Nucha with irregular wrinkles and rugae.
Legs (Fig. 8). Tarsal claws simple, without basal lobe; hind coxae with dense white setae on the dorsoposterior surface.
Forewing (Fig. 13). Longer than body, hyaline, without cilia on margin; radial cell 3.3 times as long as broad; 2r distinct; R1 absent or hardly visible, Rs very inconspicuous, nearly straight; areolet absent or very indistinct. Rs+M indistinct, reaching basalis at half of its height.
Metasoma (Figs 14, 16). Shorter than head+mesosoma, slightly higher than long in lateral view; base of 2nd metasomal tergite with felt-like dense ring of white setae, interrupted dorsally and few setae scattered on lateral surface of tergite. Narrow posterior band on 2nd metasomal tergite and all subsequent tergites with very delicate dense micropunctures. Prominent part of ventral spine of hypopygium needle-like, tapering to apex, 7.5–8.5 times as long as broad, with two parallel rows of short white scattered setae which do not extend beyond the apex of spine.
Male (Figs 4–5, 7, 15). Length 2.3–2.5 mm (n=4). Similar to female, except in the following characters: predominantly black with few brown areas; head 2.0 times as broad as long from above, 1.2 times as broad as high and broader than mesosoma in frontal view; malar space 0.3 times as long as height of eye; POL 2.0 times as broad as OOL; OOL 2.0 times as long as length of lateral ocellus and 1.3 times as long as LOL. Antennae with 13 flagellomeres (6: 4×4: 11×3.5: 10: 9: 9: 8: 8: 7: 7: 6: 6: 6: 6: 7); longer than body (101:93); pedicel as long as broad; F1 slightly longer than F2, distinctly curved, dorsally flattened and excavate; subsequent flagellomeres progressively shorter in length; F13 longer than F12; placodeal sensilla on all flagellomeres.
Gall (Figs 17–18). Acorn galls. Individual chambers located in the acorn cup, often between the cup and the seed. Usually there is one gall per acorn, but sometime two or three.
Biology. Only the sexual generation is known and it induces galls on Quercus costaricensis. Galls were collected in February and later in October in forests located above 3000 m altitude, adults emerged immediately after the galls were collected, in February and October. This very unusual emergence of adults in two periods may be due to the sporadic nature of the collecting and to the peculiar phenology of Quercus costaricensis. In the area where the galls were collected, Camacho and Orozco (1998) observed the flowering and fruiting phenology for a four year period (July 1986 to July 1990. The female flowers were present for ten months of the year, starting in the rainy season, with a flowering peak in the dry season. Male flowers were present for seven months, with a flowering peak from October to January, the period from the end of the rainy season and continuing to the beginning of the dry season. During the four years of observation there was only one fruiting period, which was synchronous, very productive, and extended for eight months (August 1988 to March 1989); this is one year after the initial production of female flowers and six months after the end of male flower production.
Currently known only from Costa Rica (Cerro de la Muerte).
In recognition of the continuing contribution of our friend, prof. Graham N. Stone (Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland) to research on oak gallwasps.
- Pujade-Villar, J; Hanson, P; Medina, C; Torres, M; Melika, G; 2012: A new genus of oak gallwasps, Zapatella Pujade-Villar & Melika, gen. n., with a description of two new species from the Neotropics (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini) ZooKeys, 210: 75-104. doi
- Camacho M, Orozco L (1998) Patrones fenológicos de doce especies arbóreas del bosque montano de la Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 46 (3): 533-542.