New records of Tetracneminae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae) from Iran

Turkish Journal of Zoology Turk J Zool
(2014) 38: 515-518
New records of Tetracneminae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae) from Iran
Department of Entomology, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom Branch, Jahrom, Iran
Institute of Entomology, Agricultural University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
Invertebrate Research Center, Tbilisi, Georgia
Department of Entomology, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht Branch, Marvdasht, Iran
* Correspondence:
The family Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea)
is an important entomophagous group of insects that are
parasitoids of a wide range of insects and other Arthropoda
Several species of the family have been successfully used
as biological control agents in some parts of the world
(Yasnosh and Japoshvili, 1998; Japoshvili and Noyes, 2006;
Japoshvili et al., 2008). Despite Iran being a large country
with diverse types of vegetation and various geographical
regions, the fauna of Iranian Encyrtidae comprises only
132 species representing 45 genera and is still poorly
known (Fallahzadeh and Japoshvili, 2010, 2013). The
present article continues a series of publications dealing
with the Iranian wasp fauna in the family Encyrtidae
(Fallahzadeh et al., 2007, 2009, 2011; Fallahzadeh and
Japoshvili, 2010, 2013; Lotfalizadeh, 2010a, 2010b). Here
we provide some additional data on the distribution of
Encyrtidae in the southwest of Iran, add 1 genus and 3
species to the published records, and provide a new host
Material was collected in Hormozgan and Fars
provinces in the southwest of Iran from 2009 to 2010.
The encyrtid wasps were then identified by the second
author. All the specimens were deposited in the insect
collection of Islamic Azad University, Jahrom Branch,
Fars Province, Iran. Some additional material was studied
from the Smithsonian Institution Collection (USA).
Terminology and taxonomic arrangement are adapted
from the Universal Chalcidoidea Database (www.nhm. New records
are indicated with asterisks.
One genus and 3 species belonging to the Tetracneminae
are new records for Iran as follows:
Tetracneminae Howard, 1892
Tribe Tetracnemini Howard, 1892
Genus Tetracnemus Westwood, 1837
Tetracnemus peliococci Myartseva, 1979
Material examined: 2♀♀, Fars Province, Qir,
08.06.2009, swept on Medicago sativa L. (Fabaceae).
Distribution: Georgia (Trjapitzin, 1989; Japoshvili,
2000; Japoshvili and Noyes, 2005), Iran*, Turkmenistan
(Myartseva, 1979; Trjapitzin, 1989).
Hosts: Peliococcus mesasiaticus Borchsenius &
Kozarzhevskaya [=Peliococcus kimmericus (Kiritshenko)]
(Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae), associated with Salsola
dendroides (Chenopodiaceae) and Zygophyllum
atriplicoides (Zygophyllaceae) (Myartseva, 1979; Trjapitzin,
1989; Noyes and Hayat, 1994; Japoshvili, 2000).
Comments: Tetracnemus has worldwide distribution
and is found in nearly all regions. It contains 34 species,
which are primary parasitoids of Pseudococcidae (www. Within
Tetracnemus, only one species, T. diversicornis (Mercet,
1923), has been previously reported from Iran (Fallahzadeh
and Japoshvili, 2010, 2013).
Abstract: One genus and 3 species belonging to 3 tribes of Tetracneminae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, and Encyrtidae) are recorded
for the first time from Iran. The species Aenasius bambawalei Hayat is considered as a junior synonym of A. arizonensis (Girault).
Nipaecoccus viridis is recorded as a new host for Leptomastix longicornis. In addition, available information for each species and
comments on taxonomy, biology, and geographical distribution are included.
Key words: Aenasius, bambawalei, arizonensis, Iran
Received: 23.09.2013 Accepted: 28.01.2014 Published Online: 20.05.2014 Printed: 19.06.2014
Short Communication
FALLAHZADEH et al. / Turk J Zool
Tribe Aenasiini Kerrich, 1967
Genus Aenasius Walker, 1846
Aenasius arizonensis (Girault, 1915)
Aenasius bambawalei Hayat, 2009 syn. nov.
Material examined: 3♀♀, 4♂♂, Hormozgan Province,
Minab, 18.02.2010, ex Phenacoccus solenopsis on Hibiscus
rosa-sinensis L. (Malvaceae); 21♀♀, 3♂♂, Hormozgan
Province, Rodkhaneh, 15.06.2010, ex P. solenopsis on
Abutilon hirtum (Lam.) Sweet (Malvaceae); 17♀♀,
Hormozgan Province, Rodan, 19.07.2010, ex P. solenopsis
on Solanum nigrum L. (Solanaceae); 9♀♀, Rodkhaneh,
25.07.2010, ex P. solenopsis on A. hirtum.
Additional material from Smithsonian Institution
collection: 1♀, 1♂, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 16.07.1949, ex
Phenacoccus solenopsis, leg. R. Flock; 1♀, Sabino Canyon,
Arizona, USA, 26.04.1940, Oman; 1♂, Phoenix, Arizona,
USA, 16.06.1943.
Distribution: China, India, Iran*, Pakistan, USA
(Girault, 1915; Hayat, 2009; Chen et al., 2011; Zainul-Abdin et al., 2012;
Hosts: Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, 1898
(Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae) on Gossypium hirsutum
(Malvaceae) and many weed species (Hayat, 2009; Nalini
and Manickavasagam, 2011).
Comments: This parasitoid is new as genus and species
for the Iranian fauna. Aenasius is a mainly a New World
genus, but has also been recorded from other biogeographic
areas, including over 42 described species (Noyes and Hayat,
html). Aenasius arizonensis belongs to Anagyrini within
Tetracneminae. This species was originally described from
the USA as Chalcaspis arizonensis (Girault, 1915) and
later transferred to Aenasius (Noyes and Woolley, 1994).
Hayat (2009) described A. bambawalei from India and
compared it to A. longiscapus Compere, 1937, although
this species falls closer to A. arizonensis. We compared
A. arizonensis from the Smithsonian Institution National
Museum of Natural History (SI-NMNH) collection to
the original description of A. bambawalei and found that
they are identical; we conclude that A. bambawalei must
be treated as a junior synonym of A. arizonensis. This
species is considered a primary, solitary endoparasitoid of
solenopsis mealybug.
The solenopsis mealybug is native to the Nearctic and
was originally described from New Mexico, USA. (Tinsley,
1898). It is now found in numerous regions including
South and Central America, Africa, and Asia (http://www. This species is
known as the cotton mealybug, although its host range
is quite diverse and it attacks many weeds, agricultural
crops, and ornamental plants (Abbas et al., 2005; Hodgson
et al., 2008; Arif et al., 2009; Wang et al., 2010; Sing et
al., 2012). In Asia, this pest has also been reported to be
present in Pakistan (Abbas et al., 2005), India (Yousuf
et al., 2007), Thailand and Taiwan (Hodgson et al.,
2008), China (Wang et al., 2009, 2010), and Indonesia
(Muniappan et al., 2011), and it causes economic damage
in cotton field crops in Pakistan and India (Nagrare et
al., 2009). In Iran, P. solenopsis was reported for the first
time on Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Malvaceae) in Hormozgan
Province (Moghaddam and Bagheri, 2010). The solenopsis
mealybug is a serious pest and now widely distributed
throughout the cotton-growing areas of the province.
Forty-three plant species from 20 families have been
recorded as hosts of P. solenopsis in Hormozgan Province,
southern Iran. Most P. solenopsis hosts belong to families
Solanaceae, Malvaceae, and Cucurbitaceae, accounting for
48% of the reported host plants (Fallahzadeh et al., 2014).
Fallahzadeh et al. (2013) reported 4 coccinellid species
(Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) as predators of solenopsis
mealybug in Hormozgan Province, but our knowledge of
the parasitoids of P. solenopsis in Iran is limited.
Tribe Anagyrini Hoffer, 1953
Genus Leptomastix Förster, 1856
Leptomastix longicornis Khan & Shafee, 1975
Material examined: 2♀♀, Fars Province, Jahrom,
29.04.2009, ex Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) on Citrus
Distribution: India (Khan and Shafee, 1975), Iran*.
Hosts: Unknown coccid on a wild plant (Khan and
Shafee, 1975).
Comments: Leptomastix includes 32 described species
It is an Old World genus (Noyes and Hayat, 1994). The
species of the genus are primary, solitary endoparasitoids
of many mealybugs (Pseudococcidae), which are often
important pests on various fruit trees, ornamental trees,
and other economically important trees. So far, 5 species,
abyssinica Compere, dactylopii Howard, flava Mercet,
nigrocoxalis Compere, and phenacocci Compere, have
been used for suppression of various crop pests (Noyes
and Hayat, 1994). In the present study, L. longicornis is
a new species record for the Palearctic, and Nipaecoccus
viridis is a new host record for it.
Prior to our study, 132 species belonging to 45 genera
of Encyrtidae had been recorded from Iran (Fallahzadeh
and Japoshvili, 2010, 2013). As a result of the present
paper, 1 genus (Aenasius Walker, 1846) and 3 species
[Tetracnemus peliococci Myartseva, 1979; Aenasius
arizonensis (Girault, 1915); and Leptomastix longicornis
Khan & Shafee, 1975] were added to the faunal list of Iran.
The total number of Encyrtidae species recorded from the
country increased to 135 within 46 genera. The species L.
longicornis was described from India (Oriental region) and
has not been cited from other parts of the world until now.
FALLAHZADEH et al. / Turk J Zool
We believe that Encyrtidae can be augmented and may be
represented by more than several hundred species in Iran,
while it includes a total of more than over 1200 species
in the Palearctic region (
The 3 encyrtid species A. arizonensis (Girault), A.
phenacocci Ashmead, and Prochiloneurus dactylopii
Howard; the eulophid wasp Aprostocetus minutus Howard;
and the signiphorid Chartocerus dactylopii Ashmead have
been recorded as primary parasitoids of P. solenopsis
A. arizonensis is better known as a P. solenopsis parasitoid
in some parts of the world (Hayat, 2009;
entomology/chalcidoids/index.html). It is native to the
Nearctic, but it seems to have been introduced throughout
the world with its host mealybug. In our study, it is a
major parasitoid of a newly invasive mealybug species,
Phenacoccus solenopsis, in the south of Iran. As it is
apparent that this species in Iran and other parts of the
world is such an important parasitoid of the solenopsis
mealybug (Hayat, 2009; Chen et al., 2011; Zain-ul-Abdin
et al., 2012;
index.html), further study of its biology and behavior
should be supported.
The authors would like to thank Dr Keith Harris (UK)
for comments on the manuscript. We also thank Dr
John S Noyes (UK) for sending several necessary papers.
This research was supported by Islamic Azad University,
Jahrom Branch, Iran, and the Institute of Entomology,
Agricultural University of Georgia, Georgia.
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