Metopheltes Uchida, 1932

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Metopheltes Uchida, 1932: 162. Type species: Metopheltes petiolaris Uchida. Monobasic and original designation.
Metopheltes is presently known from two species:
Metopheltes chinensis (Morley, 1913)
Metopheltes petiolaris Uchida, 1932

The above description is taken from a female specimen of M. petiolaris borrowed from the American Entomological Institute.

Diagnosis and Relationships
Metopheltes shares a number of features with Opheltes, including the presence of a thyridium on T2, the absence of a distinct tyloid on the basal flagellomere, and the deep groove extending the full length of the mesopleuron. The latter results from an abrupt change in elevation of the dorsal half of the mesopleuron relative to the ventral half. This mesopleural character, otherwise unique within Perilissini, is developed to varying degrees among the Westwoodiini, and in some westwoodiine species the character state appears identical to that of Opheltes and Metopheltes. Metopheltes lacks the frontal carina and maxillary palp modifications found in Opheltes.

Metopheltes petiolaris is about half the size of Opheltes glaucopterus, but is still a relatively large species.

Clypeus with ventral margin thick and bluntly rounded, without small lateral tooth or projection; ventral margin convex; epistomal sulcus indistinct, barely indicated by slight change in angle of clypeus in profile. Malar space distinct, roughly half basal width of mandible. Mandible short, broad, evenly convex, ventral and dorsal tooth of equal length, dorsal tooth slightly broader. Ocelli small, lateral ocellus shorter than distance between ocellus and eye. Maxillary palp moderately long, about equal to head height; female antennae longer than body; first flagellomere with no apparent tyloid. Hypostomal carina joining occipital carina well above base of mandible; occipital carina complete. Dorsal end of epicnemial carina a little removed from anterior margin of mesopleuron, terminating dorsally in rounded transverse ridge that sharply delimits a median longitudinal furrow extending across the middle of the mesopleuron. Notaulus absent. Distinct u-shaped groove present between propodeum and metanotum in lateral view; pleural carina complete, well-developed; propodeum with complete posterior transverse carina, lateral longitudinal carina present posteriorly, carinae large effaced medially anteriorad posterior transverse carina, with weak, irregular, longitudinal striae along midline, areola absent. Apical margin of mid tibia with distinct tooth similar to that on fore tibia; comb on hind tibia present, but details not clearly visible on the single specimen available for study; posterior hind tibial spur at least 7x longer than maximum width at base; tarsal claws completely pectinate. Fore wing areolet present; Rs+2r arising slightly basad middle of stigma. Hind wing with first abscissa of CU1 distinctly shorter than 1cu-a. T1 long, slender, without dorsal carinae; without median, basal depression at dorsal tendon attachment; dorsal-lateral carina nearly absent between spiracle and apex of T1, weakly developed posteriorly; glymmae on each side meeting on the midline posterior to dorsal tendon attachment, large, deep, separated at midline by translucent partition. T2 thyridium present; laterotergites of T2 and T3 completely separated by creases. Ovipositor straight, with subapical notch; ovipositor sheath straight, relatively narrow, bluntly rounded apically. Male not examined, but Townes (1970) stated that the tip of the aedeagus was bent over and ended in an adze-like blade.

This genus is represented by Metopheltes petiolaris Uchida, 1932 (Japan); and Opheltes chinensis Morley, 1913 (China).

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One species is known from China; the other from Japan.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
Hosts and biology are unknown.

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 useful feedback throughout our study and the loan of the specimen examined and to Gavin Broad for exchange of information on Perilissini. Matt Yoder provided considerable assistance with databasing issues, and our use of PURLs ( in this regard follows the example of their use in publications by Norm Johnson. Andrea Walker and Cheryl Hyde graciously assisted with image capture, processing, and formatting; Lauren Ward assisted with page formatting. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation’s PEET program under Grant No. DEB 0328922 and associated REU supplement no. DEB 1026618. Page last updated March, 2011.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DEB 0328922 with REU supplement DEB 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.