Olethrodotis Förster, 1869

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Olethrodotis Foerster, 1869: 151. Type species: Mesoleptus modestus Gravenhorst, 1829. Based on subsequent designation by Townes (1970).

Taschenbergia Schmiedeknecht, 1888: 437. Type species: Mesoleptus modestus Gravenhorst, 1829. Monobasic. Synonymized by Townes (1970): 66.

The name Olethrodotis was essentially unrecognized from the time it was proposed by Foerster (1869) (without included species) until the designation of a type species by Townes (1970). Olethrodotis was one of the relatively few Foerster genera that Perkins (1962) was unable to place, and for which he did not propose a type species or indicate any previous designation of a type species.

The above redescription is based on a female specimen from AEIC and a male specimen from TAMU.

There is only one valid species: Olethrodotis modesta (Gravenhorst, 1829). Yu et al. (2005) list several synonyms.

As noted in the taxonomic history section, Olethrodotis Foerster, 1869 was unrecognized until Townes (1970) selected a type species. Townes (1970) admitted that Mesoleptus modestus Gravenhorst, 1829 was not a perfect fit to Foerster’s description because of the long ovipositor but correctly noted that Foerster sometimes erred in distinguishing the sexes of the taxa that he described.

In his revision of the genera of Ctenopelmatinae, Townes (1970) placed two genera, Olethrodotis Foerster and Chrionota Uchida, in a new tribe, the Olethrodotini. However, Uchida (1957) had already proposed the name Chrionotini when he described Chrionota.

Diagnosis and Relationships
The two genera included by Townes (1970) in what he referred to as the Olethrodotini (= Chrionotini) are distinguished from other Ctenopelmatinae by the sparsely setose eyes and long ovipositor. Other ctenopelmatines have shorter ovipositors and bare eyes. In Chrionotini and nearly all Pionini, the propodeum is separated from the metanotum laterally by a deep, u-shaped groove.

In Olethrodotis, the T1 spiracle is closer to the middle of the tergite whereas in Chrionota the spiracle is located more posteriorly (at apical 0.35). The propodeal spiracle is also more rounded in Olethrodotis and more elliptical in Chrionota. The most distinctive difference between the two genera is in the shape of the female eyes. The eyes strongly converge ventrally in female Chrionota, touching or nearly so, but are distinctly separated ventrally in Olethrodotis as seen in Fig. 2 above.

Frons without median horn or elevated carina. Clypeus slightly extended ventral medially, thus relatively tall medially, strongly narrowing laterally; ventral margin thin, not bluntly rounded; epistomal sulcus shallow but distinct. Malar space very short, less than basal width of mandible. Mandible moderately broad, ventral tooth very slightly longer than dorsal tooth. Ocelli small, lateral ocellus much shorter than distance between ocellus and eye. Eyes deeply emarginate medially in female (Fig. 2), not as deeply emarginate in male, inner eye margins weakly converging ventrally in both sexes. Maxillary palp distinctly shorter than head height; female antenna distnctly shorter than body, most flagellomeres not longer than wide (Fig. 3); first flagellomere without tyloid. Hypostomal carina joining occipital carina well above base of mandible; occipital carina complete. Dorsal end of epicnemial carina extending to anterior margin of mesopleuron (Fig. 5). Notaulus broad, shallow, converging. Deep, u-shaped notch present between anterior end of lateral longitudinal carina of propodeum and adjacent part of metanotum in lateral view; pleural carina complete, well-developed; propodeal carinae poorly developed, nearly absent, with traces of lateral and median longitudinal carinae basally and of median longitudinal carina apically, transverse carinae absent. Apical margin of mid tibia expanded to form a small tooth similar to that on fore tibia; hind tibial spurs narrow throughout; all tarsal claws simple, never pectinate. Fore wing areolet absent in the two specimens examined (Fig. 6). Hind wing with first abscissa of CU1 distinctly longer than 1cu-a. T1 narrow, parallel-sided over basal half, abruptly widening posteriorly (more distinctly so in female than male); without basal depression at dorsal tendon attachment; a dorsal-lateral longitudinal carina present basally, weakly indicated from base to just dorsad spiracle, median dorsal carinae absent; glymmae absent. S1 extending not quite half length of T1 (Fig. 8), not extending to level of spiracle, which is slightly posteriorad midpoint. T2 lateral carina absent; T2 thyridium absent; laterotergite of T2 completely separated by crease; basal 0.3 of T3 laterotergite separated by crease, remainder rounded. Ovipositor straight, parallel-sided, long (Fig. 1), with exposed portion twice length of mesosoma; with narrow subapical notch near tip.

In his brief description of Olethrodotis, Townes (1970) states that the fore wing areolet is usually present, but in both of the specimens on which the above redescription is based, the areolet was absent.

1. Olethrodotis modesta female hab...
2. Olethrodotis mode...
3. Olethrodotis modesta female ant...
4. Olethrodotis modesta f...
5. Olethrodotis modesta female...
6. Olethrodotis modesta female for...
7. Olethro...
8. Olethrodotis modesta female T1 ...
The only known species of Olethrodotis occurs in Europe.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
Hosts are unknown for members of this genus.

There are no specimens currently determined for this OTU, or those specimens determined for this OTU are not yet mappable.

This page was assembled by Bob Wharton as part of a larger collaborative effort on the genera of Ctenopelmatinae. This work would not have been possible without the groundwork provided by Ian Gauld’s study of the Australian and Costa Rican faunas, and we are particularly grateful for his assistance in many aspects of this study. We also thank David Wahl for extended loans of specimens and for useful feedback throughout our study. Matt Yoder provided considerable assistance with databasing issues, and our use of PURLs (http://purl.oclc.org) in this regard follows the example of their use in publications by Norm Johnson. Andrea Walker, Caitlin Nessner, and Cheryl Hyde graciously assisted us with image processing, formatting, and literature retrieval. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation’s PEET program under Grant No. DEB 0328922 and associated REU supplement nos DEB 0923134 and 1026618. Page last updated October, 2011.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DEB 0328922 with REU supplements DEB 0923134 and 1026618.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.