Phobetes Förster, 1869

Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Phobetes Foerster, 1869: 198 Type species: Tryphon fuscicornis Holmgren, 1856. Subsequent designation by Viereck (1914: 115) from among two species first included by Thomson (1889: 1431).

Ipoctonus Foerster, 1869; 199 Type species: Ichneumon chrysostomus Gravenhorst, 1820. Subsequent designation by Viereck (1914: 75) from among several species first included by Thomson (1889: 1432). A junior homonym of Ipoctonus Heine, 1860.

Philotymma Foerster, 1869: 209 Type species: Ichneumon chysostomus Gravenhorst, 1820. Subsequent designation by Townes et al. (1965: 268) from among four species first included by Townes et al. (1961). Perkins (1962: 445) designated a different species as the type species, unaware that Townes et al. (1961) had just recently included several different species in Philotymma. Synonymized by Perkins (1962: 445).

Phobetus Thomson, 1889: 1430. Unjustified emendation; name also preoccupied by Leconte, 1856.

Griphodes Kriechbaumer, 1894: 57-58. Type species: Griphodes caligatus Kriechbaumer, 1894. Monobasic. Synonymized with Philotymma by Townes et al. (1961).

Phobetellus Hincks, 1944: 34. Replacement name for Phobetus Thomson.

Ipoctoninus Hincks, 1944: 35. Replacement name for Ipoctonus Foerster.

In their Eastern Palaearctic catalog, Townes et al. (1965: 268) treated Phobetes as a synonym of Philotymma, seemingly ignoring Perkins, who did the reverse. Subsequently, Townes (1970: 138) followed Perkins (1962) rather than Townes et al. (1965).

This is a relatively large genus, with 44 valid species included by Yu et al. (2012). Phobetes is mostly Holarctic but some species have also been described from the Oriental and Neotropic regions.
Diagnosis and Relationships
The species of Phobetes are recognized largely by the thickening of the evenly convex margin of the clypeus as well as the absence of a fore wing areolet and poorly developed propodeal carinae.
Clypeus (Figs 2, 3) varying among species from broad as in Fig. 2 to somewhat narrow; surface punctate, generally more finely so dorsally and more coarsely ventrally; ventral margin blunt, evenly convex; epistomal sulcus narrow, usually distinct, often sharply impressed; clypeus in profile weakly bulging, weakly protruding. Inner eye margins parallel. Malar space (Fig. 2) short in the species examined, varying from 0.5 times basal width of mandible to absent or nearly so [Gauld (1997) described several species from Costa Rica with more prominent malar space]; malar sulcus absent. Mandible (Fig. 3) broad basally, tapering gradually from base to near middle, then parallel or slighly expanded from middle to apex; ventral tooth usually longer than dorsal tooth; ventral margin distinctly carinate. Maxillary palp equal to or shorter than height of head; antenna (Figs 1, 4) equal to or commonly longer than body, first flagellomere often relatively longer than in species shown in Fig. 4. Ocelli small to moderate in size, diameter of lateral ocellus less than distance from lateral ocellus to eye in most species examined, about equal distance from lateral ocellus to eye in one of the species examined. Hypostomal carina meeting occipital carina distinctly above base of mandible; occipital carina complete dorsally. Epomia apparently absent. Epicnemial carina reaching anterior margin of mesopleuron (Fig. 5) in all species examined {Gauld (1997) described several species in which the epicnemial carina was incomplete dorsally and not extending to the anterior margin]. Notaulus present usually as a distinct impression on anterior declivity (the depression sometimes weakly sculptured), becoming distinctly weaker and shallow on disk, extending posteriorad level of tegula in some species but weaker and shorter in others. Groove between propodeum and metapleuron absent to very weakly indicated, not u-shaped as in pionines; pleural carina present strongly elevated; median longitudinal carinae varying from distinct and narrowly spaced throughout to completely absent as in Fig. 6, usually absent or barely indicated; lateral longitudinal carina nearly always present and extending to spiracle from posterior margin; transverse carinae absent. Legs with apical margin of mid tibia sometimes expanded into a tooth that is nearly as well-developed as that of fore leg; apical comb on posterior side of hind tibia present, though not strongly developed; posterior hind tibial spur 0.35-0.5 times length of hind basitarsus; tarsal claws not pectinate; fifth tarsomere of hing leg normal, not unusually elongate (relative to fourth) (Fig. 8). Fore wing (Fig. 7) with areolet absent; stigma moderately broad, Rs+2r usually arising at or very slightly basad or distad midpoint. Hind wing (Fig. 7) with first abscissa of CU1 longer than 1cu-a. T1 varying from slender (Figs 9, 10) to somewhat broader: very gradually to more strongly expanding posteriorly; ventral margin straight to weakly curved in profile; dorsal carinae absent or present, vary when present usually distinctly elevated and extending distinctly posteriorad spiracles; basal depression at dorsal tendon attachment absent; dorsal-lateral carina complete between spiracle and apex of T1 (Fig. 9); glymma absent. S1 extending to level of spiracle or nearly so. Laterotergites of T2 and T3 separated by creases from median tergite. Ovipositor and sheath more or less straight, ovipositor with distinct dorsal, subapical notch.

This description s modified from Townes (1970) and is based largely on several specimens in the Texas A&M University collection, representing at least 6 species.

1. Phobetes habitus...
2.Phobetes face
3. Phobetes clypeus and mandibles...
4. Phobete...
5. Phobetes mesopl...
6. Phobetes propodeum...
7.Phobetes wings
8. Phobe...
9.Phobetes T1
10.Phobetes T1
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
Recorded hosts are primarily from Cimbicidae and Tenthredinidae and are summarized by Yu et al. (2012).

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 as part of a larger collaborative effort on the genera of Ctenopelmatinae. Page last updated April, 2015.

This work would not have been possible without the groundwork provided by Ian Gauld’s study of the Australian and Costa Rican faunas, and we are particularly grateful for his assistance in many aspects of this study. We thank David Wahl of the American Entomological Institute, Gavin Broad of The Natural History Museum, London, and Andy Bennett of the Canadian National Collection for extended loans of the material used for this study. We also thank David Wahl for useful feedback throughout our study, Dimitry Kasparyan for a greater understanding of genera such as this one, and Dave Karlsson for access to material from the Swedish Malaise Trap Survey (trap 22, collection event 1638). 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, Andrea Walker, Patricia Mullins, Caitlin Nessner, Mika Cameron, Karl Roeder, Danielle Restuccia, and Cheryl Hyde graciously assisted us with image processing, formatting, and literature retrieval. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation’s PEET program under Grant No. DEB 0328922 and associated REU supplement nos DEB 0616851, 0723663, 0923134, and 1026618.

This material is based upon work at Texas A&M University supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DEB 0328922 with REU supplements DEB 0616851, 0723663, 0923134, and 1026618.. 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.