Physotarsus maculipennis (Cresson, 1874)

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Tryphon maculipennis Cresson, 1874: 392. Lectotype male in Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.
Tryphon maculipennis: Dalla Torre 1902: 298 (catalog); Cresson 1916: 40 (lectotype designation).
Scolobates maculipennis: Townes 1946: 39 (new combination).
Physotarsus maculipennis: Townes & Townes 1966: 139 (catalog); Townes in Townes & Townes 1966: 330 (description of genus; designation of P. maculipennis as type species); Townes 1970: 102-103 (copy of original generic description, listing the type species); Yu & Horstmann 1997: 455 (catalog); Zhaurova and Wharton (2009): 9, 36-38 (key, redescription).
Specimens available for study represent a diversity of localities throughout Mexico and exhibit a considerable amount of variation. The most readily observed differences are in the color patterns on the mesosoma and wings, and in the relative lengths of the fore wing 2rs-m cross-vein and hind wing cu-a. The most variable features were not correlated, thus darker specimens were variable in number of pale spots on the wing and in relative length of the wing veins. In the lectotype, the mesosoma is completely orange (lacking dark markings laterally and on the pronotum), and the fore wing has a single, rounded, discrete, pale spot extending from the anterior margin immediately distad stigma to and almost or barely touching distal abscissa of M. Both flagella are completely absent on the lectotype, but in the original description, the flagellum is described as honey yellow basally, black apically, and with a broad, pale yellow band subapically. We have interpreted maculipennis as a single, variable species but once longer series from single localities become available, it may be possible to delineate additional species.
Diagnosis and Relationships
Lateral ocelli separated by 0.9X their widest diameter from each other, and about 1.8-2.0X their widest diameter from eye margin. Antennae with 35-38 flagellomeres. Pronotum and mesoscutum glabrous, impunctate. T1 about 2.2-2.4X as long as broad. Head entirely orange. Mesosoma mostly orange, sometimes with black markings laterally. Metasomal T1-T3 largely reddish brown. Hind leg orange, tarsomeres 2-4 pale yellow to nearly white. Fore wing fuscous, with at least one pale yellowish spot or band distally (Figs 1-3).

This species is most similar to P. varicornis, with which it shares the smooth body, pectinate claws, and dark wing with pale subapical band. Physotarsus varicornis is a distinctly darker species.

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MEXICO. The lectotype (Type No. 874.1, ANSP) is from Orizaba in Veracruz. We have seen additional material from Chiapas: 3 mi N Arriaga (AEIC) and 20–25 mi N Huixtla (CNC); Durango: 5–10 mi SE Durango (AEIC); Jalisco: Chapala (AEIC) and Guadalajara (AEIC); San Luis Potosi: El Salto (AEIC) and in and around Xilitla, (AEIC); Sinaloa: 20 mi E Concordia (CNC); and Veracruz: 34 mi E Jalapa (CNC).
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.

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. It is part of a revision of the genera of Westwoodiini and Scolobatini conducted by Kira Zhaurova as part of her M. S. thesis in Entomology at Texas A&M University, completed in 2005. Part of this thesis has been published by Zhaurova and Wharton (2009), and a revision of the genus Physotarsus was also published by Zhaurova and Wharton (2009). Our work would not have been possible without the groundwork provided by Ian Gauld’s study of the Costa Rican fauna of Physotarsus, and we are particularly grateful for his assistance in many aspects of this study. We also thank the following curators and researchers for extended loans of the material used for the Physotarsus revision: Jason Weintraub (ANSP), David Wahl (AEIC), Ian Gauld and Gavin Broad (BMNH), Andy Bennett (CNC), Gabriel Melo (DZUP), Ronald Zúñiga (INBio), and Robert Kula and Dave Furth (USNM). Matt Yoder is gratefully acknowledged for the electronic interface and Heather Cummins and Mika Cameron assisted with literature and figures. We would also like to acknowledge the kind assistance of Ian Gauld, David Wahl, Andrew Bennett, and Gavin Broad for information exchange about ichneumonids during the course of this work. Our use of PURLs ( for the web interface follows the example of their use in publications by Norm Johnson. The work was supported by NSF/PEET grant no. DEB 0328922 and associated REU supplement # 0723663. Page last updated February, 2011.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DEB 0328922 with REU supplements DEB 0723663.
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.