Rhynchosteres Fischer, 1965

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Rhynchosteres Fischer, 1965: 314-315. Type species: Rhynchosteres tubiformis Fischer, 1965 (original designation).

Type locality of type species: Rutshuru, Congo; holotype female in Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika, Tervuren.

Valid genus.

The species were described and/or revised by Fischer (1965), van Achterberg (1983), and Kimani-Njogu and Wharton (2002).

The genus was fairly completely defined by both Fischer (1965) and van Achterberg (1983). Van Achterberg and Maetô (1990) stressed the unusual form of the clypeus in separating Rhynchosteres from other genera of what they referred to as the Diachasmimorpha group. While the protruding nature of the clypeus is indeed unusual for opiines, what is equally of interest is that the shape of the clypeus differs among most of the described species, sometimes dramatically. Details of clypeal morphology and transitions among species of Rhynchosteres and Fopius were discussed by Kimani-Njogu and Wharton (2002).

For additional information, see the Braconidae, Opiinae, and Fopius pages.

Diagnosis and Relationships
The species of Rhynchosteres are virtually identical to certain species of Fopius except for the more unusually developed clypeus (see figures). The mandibles (with the exception of tuberculatus van Achterberg) are also highly modified (see Figs 2 and 4 in the description section). The species of Rhynchosteres and members of the Fopius desideratus species group share the same pattern of body sculpture (complete, sculptured notauli, oblique carina on propleuron, striate frons, and postpectal carina), and reduction of setae on the ovipositor sheath (Figs 11 and 12 in the description section). This combination of characters separates both Rhynchosteres and the Fopius desideratus species group from all other opiines with long ovipositors and a small second submarginal cell. Wharton (1987, 1997) and Kimani-Njogu and Wharton (2002) have discussed the relationships of Rhynchosteres and Fopius.
Nearly identical to Fopius in all respects except for the shape of the clypeus. In Rhynchosteres, the clypeus is strongly bulging medially (Figs. 1-7), with ventral portion of bulge deeply excavated, the clypeus thus forming either a tunnel-like or a hood-like structure, with the exact shape varying among species (Figs. 1-7). The labrum is consequently partially exposed by the median protrusion and excavation of the clypeus. The mandible in most species also has the outer surface flattened to slightly concave, especially basally (shown best in Figs 2 and 4). The mandible is evenly convex in species of other opiine genera reared from Tephritidae.
1. Rhynchosteres tubiformis face and clype...
2. Rhynchosteres mandibularis head, s...
3. Rhynchosteres clypeatus ...
4. Rhynchosteres microps fa...
5. Rhynchosteres m...
6. Rhynchosteres brunigaster...
7. Rhynchosteres bruniga...
8. Rhynchosteres tubulatus late...
9. Rhynchosteres microps ha...
10.Rhynchosteres microps lateral
11. Rhynchosteres brunigaste...
12. Rhynchosteres clypeatus ...
13. Rhynchosteres mandibularis wing...
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
All described species are from the Afrotropical region, and we have reared two of these (Rhynchosteres brunigaster Fischer and Rhynchosteres mandibularis Kimani-Njogu and Wharton) from fruit-infesting Tephritidae in Kenya. Rhynchosteres mandibularis was reared from one or both of the two species of Trirhithrum infesting fruits of Rawsonia lucida (Kimani-Njogu and Wharton 2002).

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 and Danielle Restuccia. It is part of a review of the genera of World Opiinae, conducted at Texas A&M University. We are particularly grateful to Xanthe Shirley, Andrew Ly, Patricia Mullins, Trent Hawkins, Lauren Ward, Cheryl Hyde, Karl Roeder, and Andrea Walker, who did nearly all of the imaging (together with Danielle) for this project. Matt Yoder and Istvan Miko provided guidance on databasing issues associated with our use of mx and HAO respectively. This project would not have been possible without the kindness of many curators at museums throughout the world who gave generously of their time to Bob Wharton and his students. In particular, I thank Henry Townes (deceased) and David Wahl (American Entomological Institute, Gainesville), Gordon Nishida (Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu), Norm Penny, and Bob Zuparko (California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco), Bill Mason (deceased), Mike Sharkey, Andrew Bennett, and Henri Goulet (Canadian National Collection, Ottawa), Paul Dessart (deceased) (Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Brussels), Marc De Meyer (Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika, Tervuren), Axel Bachmann (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Natureles, Buenos Aires), Eberhard Koenigsmann (deceased) and Frank Koch (Museum fuer Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universitaet, Berlin), J. Casevitz Weulersse and Claire Villemant (Museum National d’Historie Naturelle, Paris), James O’Connor (National Museum of Ireland, Dublin), Jenö Papp (National Museum of Natural History, Budapest), Kees van Achterberg (National Museum of Natural History, Leiden), Max Fischer, Herb Zettel, and Dominique Zimmermann (Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien), Per Persson and Lars-Åke Janzon (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Stockholm), Ermenegildo Tremblay (Silvestri Collection, Portici), Erasmus Haeselbarth (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, Munich), Tom Huddleston and Gavin Broad (The Natural History Museum, London), Paul Marsh and Robert Kula (USDA Systematic Research Laboratory and US National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C.), Vladimir Tobias (deceased) and Sergey Belokobylskij (Zoological Institute, Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg), and Roy Danielsson (Zoological Institute, Department of Systematics, Lund) for facilitating loans and general assistance associated with examination of holotypes and other material in their care. This work was supported largely by NSF/PEET DEB 0328922 and 0949027, with REU supplements 0723663, 1026618, 1213790, and 1313933 (to Wharton). Page last updated August, 2015. The material on this page is freely available, but should be acknowledged if used elsewhere.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DEB 9300517, DEB (PEET) 9712543, DEB (PEET) 0328922 with REU supplements 0723663 and 1026618 and DEB 0949027 with REU supplements 1213790 and 1313933. 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.