Pergaphaga nigra Gauld, 1984

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Pergaphaga nigra Gauld, 1984: 231-232. Holotype female in Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra.
Pergaphaga nigra: Gupta 1987: 355 (catalog); Yu and Horstmann 1997: 455 (catalog); Zhaurova and Wharton 2009: 39, 41, 62-65, 67, 69-77 (distribution, figures, relationships).
Megaceria auct. (misidentified, not Megaceria Szépligeti, 1908): Townes 1970: 224 (figure).
Observed variation was as great within populations as between them. Sculpture of the median part of the face varied from rugose punctate to more densely granular rugose and the hind tibia varied from black to orange in both Duntroon and Murrumbateman series. The female specimen from Duntroon shown in the figure in this section illustrates the maximum extent of pale coloration on the apical margins of the terga among the material available for study. In one of the 10 females measured, the hind basitarsus was 10.0 times longer than wide; in one of the nine males examined, the areolet was not petiolate.
1. Pergaphaga nigra Gauld, ...
Diagnosis and Relationships
Pergaphaga nigra differs in several respects from the other three more recently described species. It is readily recognized by the uniformly dark coloration of the head (including antenna) and mesosoma (Figs 1-3), and by the dark legs with distinctively bicolored hind tibia and basitarsus (Fig. 1). Unlike the other three species, the face is entirely black (Fig. 4) and the gastral terga are black with pale apical margins (Fig. 1). The hind basitarsus is also shorter and broader in female P. nigra, the fore wing areolet is larger (Fig. 10), and the propodeum (Figs 8, 9) is more heavily sculptured. In addition to a generally more heavily sculptured propodeum relative to other species of Pergaphaga, P. nigra has the anterior transverse carina more distinctly elevated and generally more posteriorly displaced, at the level of the spiracles. As in P. xanthops, there is an elevated, Y-shaped frontal carina (flange) extending between the antenna (Fig. 5). The body as a whole is generally more heavily sculptured in P. nigra, and this is evident not only on the propodeum, but also on the mesopleuron (Figs 6, 7) and postpetiole (Fig. 11). Figure 8 shows two distinctive features relative to other described species: the pleural carina is better developed posteriorly (left arrow) and an elevated tubercle (right arrow) at the junction of the lateral longitudinal carina and the posterior transverse carina.

Pergaphaga nigra is the sister-group to the remaining species of Pergaphaga based largely on the color pattern, reduced body sculpture, and reduced fore wing areolet that unite the other three species.

1. Pergaphaga nigra Gauld. ...
2. Pergaphaga nigra. Dors...
3. Pergaphaga nigra. Comple...
4. Pergaphaga nigra. Face s...
5. Pergaphaga nigra. Top of...
6. Pergaphaga nigra, showin...
7. Pergaphaga nigra. Mesop...
8.Pergaphaga nigra.
9. Pergaphaga nigra. Propod...
10. Pergaphaga nigra. Right ...
11. Pergaphaga nigra. Petiole, dors...
The genus is endemic to Australia. It is the most widespread of the known species, occurring in New South Wales (Cookardinia and Murrumbateman), ACT (Canberra and Duntroon), Victoria (Avoca, 6.6 mi W Bonnie Doon, Hamilton, and 15 mi ESE Wangaratta) and 2 specimens from an unspecified locality in South Australia. Gauld (1984) and Gupta (1987) place Avoca in New South Wales, but this is incorrect.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
The known range of Pergaphaga nigra is coincident with the primary range of its host (Carne 1969, Schmidt and Smith 2006), the pergine sawfly Perga affinis Kirby. Collection and emergence dates range primarily from February through June, with one specimen each collected in January, July, August, and October. Based on material reared from Perga affinis in the Australian National Insect Collection, the specimens mentioned by Carne (1969) as an undescribed species of “?Hypopheltes,” are Pergaphaga nigra. Carne (1969) provides additional information on the host, which is active during winter, and Gauld (1984) also noted that most specimens of P. nigra that he examined were taken late in the season. Additional hosts listed by Gupta (1987) were taken from Gauld (1984) and actually refer to other species that were undescribed at that time.
Map         kml   (right-click, save as)
Label data
Type locality. Australia, New South Wales, Murrumbateman, -34.966667S, 149.033333E

Type material. Holotype. Female (ANIC), Australia, New South Wales, Murrumbateman, emerged iii.1974 ex. Perga cocoon collected iii.1973, R.B. McInnes [not seen]

Material examined:

Paratypes: 6 females, 5 males, same data as holotype except emergence dates of 5.iii,, and 8.v.1973 and 21.ii, 27.ii., and 8.iii.1974 (ANIC, BMNH); ACT, 1 female, Canberra, 12.v.1959, P.B. Carne (ANIC); 2 males, Duntroon, emerged 8-22.v.1960, parasite of Perga affinis (ANIC, BMNH); NEW SOUTH WALES, 1 male, Cookardinia, emerged 29.ii.1960, ex culture 223, parasite of Perga affinis (BMNH); SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 2 females, no additional data (BMNH); VICTORIA, 2 females, Avoca, 220, emerged, parasite of Symphyta on Eucalyptus sp., M.F. Leask (BMNH).

Other specimens examined: ACT, 1 female, Canberra, 24.iv.1959, W. Vestjens (MVMA); 10 females, 2 males, Duntroon, emerged 8-22.v.1959 and iv-v.1960 from P. affinis cocoons collected 1958, P.B. Carne (ANIC); 2 females, same data except cocoons collected 24.ii.1958, dissected 28.ii.1959; VICTORIA, 1 male, 6.6 mi W. of Bonnie Doon, 7.iii.1973 R.S. McInnes, emerged ex. Perga cocoons 31.i.1975 (ANIC); 1 male, Hamilton, 10.×.1947, G. Stephens, collection A. N. Burns (MVMA); 1 female, 15 mi ESE Wangaratta, emerged 16.vii.1974 ex Perga cocoon collected 8.iii.1973, R.S. Mclnnes (ANIC); 1 female, no locality, ex culture, emerged 25.viii.1934, vide 20 (BMNH); 1 male, no additional data (MVMA).

Remarks: Among the material examined, handwritten labels correctly give R.S. for initials of McInnes, but those typed labels with emergence dates of 1973 incorrectly give initials as R.B.

In addition to material examined, there are several paratypes listed by Gauld (1984) that we did not examine, including 10 males and 10 females from the type locality, and all of these are presumed to be in the Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra.

This page was assembled by Bob Wharton. It is an extension 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. Some of this work is now published (Zhaurova and Wharton 2009), and a revision of Pergaphaga by Wharton, J. A. Cammack, and P. L. Mullins is now available (Wharton et al. 2010).

This work would not have been possible without the groundwork provided by Ian Gauld’s study of the Australian fauna, including the initial recognition of the Pergaphaga as an undescribed genus separate from Megaceria. 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 this revision: John LaSalle (ANIC), Ian Gauld (deceased) and Gavin Broad (BMNH), Ken Walker (MVMA), and Chris Burwell (QMBA). We thank David Wahl of the American Entomological Institute (AEIC) for permission to use material previously published in the Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, as well as for useful feedback throughout our study of Westwoodiini. 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. Heather Cummins also graciously assisted us with image processing, formatting, and literature retrieval. This revision was conducted at Texas A&M University and is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation’s PEET program under Grant No. DEB 0328922 and associated REU supplement nos DEB 0723663 and DEB 0522836. Page last updated October 2010.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DEB 0328922 with REU supplement DEB 0723663 and 0522836.
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.