Opius danielsae Wharton, 2013

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Opius danielsae Wharton, 2013 ZooKeys 349: 16-18, 37-40.
The seven specimens reared from this sample were fairly similar in color pattern, providing a basis for assessing inter- vs intraspecific patterns for the opiines described in the publication on non-frugivorous tephritid parasitoids by Wharton and Norrbom (2013). Females from this sample were slightly smaller than males, with T1 also broader apically than in males. The middle of the face was noticeably bulging in some specimens and barely so in others, independent of sex.

Holotype: Female, deposited in UNAM.

Diagnosis and Relationships
Members of the Opius baderae species group (to which this species belongs) will key to Opius (Opius) in the subgeneric keys of Fischer (1972), 1977, (1999) because of the completely concealed labrum, unsculptured precoxal sulcus, and absence of a midpit on the mesoscutum. They differ from the type species of Opius (i.e., Opius s.s.) in lacking a basal lobe ventrally on the mandible, and thus would key to Phaedrotoma Foerster in the classification of van Achterberg and Salvo (1997) and Li et al. (2013) and the key to genera in Fischer (1999). In members of the baderae group the propodeum is also almost completely unsculptured. Within the baderae species group, this species is very similar to the distinctly darker O. zacapuensis from Michoacan and the smaller-bodied O. gabriellae . In all three of these species, the head is distinctively patterned, with frons, vertex, and upper occiput dark, face with a median infumate spot, remainder pale, including a pale orbital ring interrupted by a dark bar extending from mid frons to eye (Figs 1-3). Females and most males of O. danielsae lack dark transverse bars on the metasomal segments, unlike individuals of the other two species. The lateral mesoscutal lobes are dark brown to black in O. zacapuensis but orange in O. danielsae and O. gabriellae .
1.Opius danielsae head color pattern
2. Opius danielsae ...
3. Opius danielsae face col...
Habitus (Fig. 1). Temples in dorsal view (Fig. 2) bulging beyond eyes, not receding. Clypeus (Figs 4-5) 1.65–1.75 x wider than high, distinctly punctate throughout; completely concealing labrum when mandible closed, ventral margin of clypeus evenly convex, slightly overlapping dorsal margin of mandible when mandible closed. Antenna with 39–42 (male) and 37–41 (female) flagellomeres. Malar sulcus (Fig. 3) narrow, shallow, distinct throughout. Mesosoma (Figs 6-9) 1.25–1.3 x longer than high. Pronotum laterally (Fig. 6) with vertical groove usually weakly crenulate dorsally, distinctly crenulate ventrally, varying from smooth to weakly wrinkled medially, not margined anteriorly by carina. Propodeum (Fig. 9) mostly unsculptured, with small weakly rugulose patch posterior-medially. Fore wing (Fig. 11) 3RSa 1.7–1.9 x longer than sinuate 2RS; (RS+M)a very weakly sinuate, nearly straight. T1 (Figs 9-10) 2.0–2.15 (male) and 2.2–2.35 (female) x wider at apex than at base, 0.9–1.15 x as long as apical width; smooth, unsculptured basally, variously striate to strigose over apical 0.7: often weaker medially, sometimes mostly smooth; dorsal carina low, not distinctly elevated basally, weakening to absent or nearly so over apical 0.6. Ovipositor (total length) 3.1–3.2 x longer than mesosoma; ovipositor sheath 2.4–2.6 x longer than mesosoma. Color (Figs 1-11): Head mostly black above, including at least dorsal 0.5 of occiput, dark color extending between and below antennae to cover middle of face with median dark brown spot, the spot slightly larger in female than male, usually extending narrowly to epistomal sulcus; remainder of face, orbit dorsally, lower occiput, and almost entire gena yellow fading to white on lower gena and malar region; orbital ring interrupted above antennal torulus by narrow black band extending laterally from frons; clypeus, mandible except dark apical teeth, and remaining mouthparts white to very pale yellow. Mesosoma black to dark red-brown except as follows: propleuron dark brown to variously infumate dorsally, white to pale yellow ventrally in female, pale throughout in male; tegula and basal wing sclerite pale white; axilla and most of mesoscutum orange with broad, median black band over anterior 0.6–0.7, band faded to dark orange in one specimen, anterior part of black band sometimes absent on anterior declivity, small black spot also present along lateral margin between posterior end of tegula and axilla; metanotum usually with margins at least partly yellow-brown; pleuron on each side between fore and mesocoxal cavities variably marked with orange. T1 black, T2 and anterior portion of T3 usually reddish brown with narrow yellow lateral margins, two specimens with T2 and T3 mostly or entirely yellow; T4–T7 and T3 posteriorly yellow with narrow hyaline margin posteriorly, rarely with narrow, dark brown transverse bands. Fore and mid tibiae and all femora pale yellow; hind tibia varying from almost completely brown to mostly yellow with at least basal 0.2 and apical 0.4 posteriorly brown, usually darker posteriorly than anteriorly. Body length 3.4–4.2 mm; wing length 4.5–4.8 mm (male), 4.25–4.45 mm (female); mesosoma length 1.55–1.6 mm (male), 1.3–1.5 mm (female).
1. Opius danielsae habit...
2.Opius danielsae head dorsal
3. Opius danielsae ...
4.Opius danielsae face
5. Opius danielsae face, ro...
6. Opius danielsae pronotum...
7. Opius danielsae...
8. Opius danielsae mesosoma la...
9. Opius danielsae propodeu...
10.Opius danielsae T1
11.Opius danielsae wings
Type locality: Mexico, Morelos, Lago de Zempoala
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
A parasitoid of Paracantha trinotata (Tephritidae) reared from flower heads of Dahlia imperialis. Data on the host fly and host plant (including images of the latter) are published in Norrbom et al. (2010), where Laksyetsa Foote is treated as a junior subjective synonym of Paracantha Coquillett. The host for O. danielsae is therefore Paracantha trinotata (Foote). Parasitism of P. trinotata by O. danielsae was 17.9% for the sample from which the type series emerged. Several of the Paracantha puparia from which these wasps emerged are card mounted on separate pins, representing individually isolated host/parasitoid rearings. The host plant, Dahlia imperialis, is a member of the Asteraceae.

Two distinctly different opiines were reared from this sample of D. imperialis flower heads, with Doryctobracon anneae reared only from Gymnocarena mexicana and O. danielsae reared only from P. trinotata . The puparia of the two tephritids are distinctly different in color and texture, allowing reliable segregation prior to emergence of flies and wasps. One sample of the same plant species from the same general locality but two years earlier yielded three specimens of a third species of Opiinae (Opius yoderi ), but without specific host associations.

Biology and Behavior
Emergence dates were recorded for five of the specimens from the type series. These emerged 8-14 months after field collection of the flower heads in early fall of 1991. One of the emergence dates (xi.1992) was overlooked in the published description of the paratype labels.

Examination of empty puparia from which wasps emerged revealed the presence of a weak cocoon within the puparium. Opiine Braconidae generally do not make cocoons, but this aspect of their biology has not been well-studied and merits further investigation since opiine parasitoids of fruit-infesting Tephritidae are not known to spin cocoons.


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

Label data
Holotype labels:

MEXICO: Morelos
Lago de Zempoala
A. L. Norrbom

Second label:
reared ex capitulum
of Dahlia imperialis
Roezl (91M16)

Third label:
reared ex puparium
Laksyetsa trinotata
(Tephritidae) emer.

This page was assembled largely by Bob Wharton and Andrew Ly. It is part of a revision of New World, mostly neotropical, opiines reared from non-frugivorous Tephritidae conducted by Wharton and Norrbom (2013). We are particularly grateful to Danielle Restuccia, Patricia Mullins, Trent Hawkins, Lauren Ward, and Gabriella Vasquez, who did all of the imaging and especially Danielle for preparing the plates. Paul Marsh initially made much of this material available to the senior author. Matt Yoder and Istvan Miko provided guidance on databasing issues associated with our use of mx and HAO respectively. We thank David Wahl (AEIC), Norm Penny and Bob Zuparko (CAS), Andrew Bennett and Henri Goulet (CNC), Max Fischer and Dominique Zimmermann (NHMW), and Paul Marsh and Robert Kula (Systematic Research Laboratory, USDA; USNM) for facilitating loans and general assistance associated with examination of holotypes and other material in their care. This work was supported largely by NSF DEB 0949027, with REU supplement 1313933 (to Wharton) and partly by NSF/PEET DEB 0328922 (also to Wharton). Page last updated January, 2014.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DEB 0949027 and DEB 0328922 with REU supplement 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.