Opius taramegillae Wharton, 2013

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Opius taramegillae Wharton, 2013 ZooKeys 349: 16-17, 63-65.
This species keys to Bracanastrepha (Bracanastrepha) in Fischer (1977) due to the complete loss of the occipital carina in combination with the distinct midpit on the mesoscutum. Wharton (1988, 1997) placed Bracanastrepha s.s. as a synonym of Utetes, but also noted that several species placed in Bracanastrepha by Fischer (1977) did not share the tibial carination characteristic of the type species of both Utetes and Bracanastrepha. These remaining species are currently included in Opius s. l., as explained most recently by Wharton et al. (2012). Hence, both taramegillae and cosa were placed in Opius by Wharton and Norrbom (2013). The classification presented in the key by Li et al. (2013) does not cover these New World groups.

Opius taramegillae and O. cosa represent Yet another distinctive species group within Opius s. l. of species known to attack non-frugivorous Tephritidae. These two species are most easily differentiated from all the others known to have this host relationship by the complete absence of the occipital carina and the long, deep midpit of the mesoscutum. As in O. nympha and O. yoderi, the distal abscissa of fore wing CU arises posteriorad the middle of the 1st subdiscal cell, a common feature of opiines in general, but unusual among those opiines attacking stem and flower-infesting tephritids in the New World.

Holotype: Female, deposited in UNAM.

Diagnosis and Relationships
This species can be recognized by the combination of the complete absence of a notaulus, complete absence of an occipital carina, presence of a densely setose mesoscutum with long, narrow midpit, and presence of a basal lobe or tooth ventrally on the mandible (see Figs 2, 6, and 9 above). Opius taramegillae is most similar to the equally densely setose Opius cosa (Fischer), but the coxae are distinctly darker in O. cosa and the venation is somewhat different, most notably with the 1st subdiscal cell open apically in O. cosa.
Habitus (Fig. 1). Eyes in dorsal view (Figs 2-3) not bulging beyond temples; eye about 1.1–1.2 x longer than temple in dorsal view; 1.7 x longer than temple in lateral view (Fig. 4). Vertex and frons densely setose (Fig. 3). Face and frons smooth, polished. Clypeus (Figs 5-6) somewhat crescentic, ventral margin strongly protruding in lateral view, without horn or spine-like protrusions, sharp, truncate in anterior view; labrum broadly exposed. Malar space slightly shorter than basal width of mandible, malar sulcus complete, deeply incised throughout. Mandible (Figs 5-6) with dorsal margin not deflected, with distinct basal lobe ventrally, apical teeth not twisted. Occipital carina completely absent (Figs 2, 9). Antenna with 26 flagellomeres; first flagellomere about 2.1–2.2 x longer than wide, 0.9 x length of second. Maxillary palp nearly as long as height of head. Pronotum dorsally (Fig. 3) narrow, with large pronope; laterally without vertical carina adjacent median vertical groove, groove narrow, discrete over dorsal 0.2, otherwise, broad, shallow, weakly indicated. Mesoscutum (Figs 2, 3, 9) with deep, nearly vertical anterior declivity; notaulus and supramarginal carina completely absent; mesoscutum completely, uniformly densely covered with short, white, mostly decumbent setae; midpit narrowly elliptical, long, extending anteriorly more than half length of disc from posterior margin. Precoxal sulcus absent (Fig. 8). Metapleuron unsculptured medially; median pit adjacent anterior margin and dorsal pit at posterior margin both relatively small, largely obscured by setae. Propodeal spiracle closer to anterior than posterior margin; propodeum (Fig. 9) densely setose and weakly punctate throughout, with some weakly rugulose sculpture adjacent posterior margin, otherwise unsculptured. Hind tibia without basal carina. Fore wing (Fig. 1) with stigma wedge-shaped, discrete distally, r arising from basal 0.35; 3RSa 1.5 x longer than 2RS, 2nd submarginal cell strongly narrowing distally, 2r-m equal in length to 2Ma; 3RSb extending nearly to apex of wing; m-cu distinctly postfurcal; 2CUb arising distinctly below middle of distal margin of 1st subdiscal cell, 1st subdiscal cell closed apically; 1cu-a interstitial; distance between anal vein and ventral wing margin equal to about 1.5 x width of anal vein. Hind wing RS largely absent; m-cu present, extending nearly to wing margin as a posteriorly weakening crease. S1 short, barely visible in lateral view; T1 with laterope but without dorsope; dorsal carinae distinct basally on either side of deep basal depression, difficult to distinguish from surrounding strigose sculpture over posterior 0.6; T1 (Figs 8-9) 1.15 x longer than apical width; apex 2.0 x wider than base. T2 and following terga unsculptured. Base of ovipositor well-concealed, ovipositor (total length) very approximately 1.5 x longer than mesosoma; ovipositor sheath 0.9 x length of mesosoma. Color (Figs 1, 2, 4, 5, 9): Brown, T2+3 and tegula yellow-brown; clypeus, lower face and malar space adjacent clypeus, and mandible (except apical teeth) yellow; palps white, legs pale yellow, almost white; wings hyaline. Body length 2.5 mm; wing length 2.7 mm; mesosoma length 1.05 mm.
1. Opius taramegillae habit...
2. Opius taramegillae dorsa...
3. Opius taramegillae head ...
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5. Opius taramegillae face...
6. Opius taramegillae mandi...
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8. Opius taramegillae later...
9. Opius taramegillae mesos...
Type locality: Mexico, Morelos, Parque Lago de Zempoala.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
The holotype was reared from stems of the asteracean Barkleyanthus salicifolius, the same host plant and plant part that yielded one of the reared series of Opius nympha. The probable fly host is a species of Campiglossa since two flies belonging to this genus were reared from the same sample of stems that produced the wasp. Campiglossa is currently treated as a senior synonym of Paroxyna (the latter was used on the original labels of all the reared material of these species).

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, Parque
Lag. de Zempoala, clear-
ing at entrance, 9–11.
VIII.1989, A.L.Norrbom

Second label:
reared ex. stems
Barkleyanthus salici-
folius (H.B.K.) H.
Robins. & Brett. (89M1)
prob. ex. Paroxyna sp.

Third label:
ALN second line: 34A

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.