Research Article
Research Article
Neotype designation for Anaphes brevis Walker (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae)
expand article infoJohn T. Huber
‡ Natural Resources Canada, c/o Canadian National Collection of Insects, Ottawa, Canada
Open Access


A neotype for Anaphes brevis Walker (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) is designated from among specimens reared in a laboratory culture on Lygus sp. (Hemiptera: Miridae). Based on specimens examined, the distribution of A. brevis extends west-east from UK (Wales) apparently as far as China and north-south from Germany to Morocco. The species also apparently occurs in North America.


France, Anaphes brevis, neotype, species description


Walker (1846) described Anaphes brevis as “A. fuscipenni affinis, alis limpidis latioribus”. This was one of seven species he described or redescribed and placed under Anaphes Haliday, and the only one mentioned as having been collected in France, in this case from the Forest of Fontainebleau (about 55 km south-south-east of Paris). Graham (1982) briefly discussed the species but could not locate any type material. Walker’s short description included only the fore wing feature, i.e., the clear, wider [than in fuscipennis] wings. This distinctive feature fits few species of Anaphes, as mentioned by Graham who determined that Walker’s specimen(s?) had been collected in late July, 1830 and noted that the species fits rather well the specimens misidentified by Debauche (1948) as A. fuscipennis Haliday. Consequently Graham listed A. fuscipennis sensu Debauche under A. ? brevis. Huber and Thuróczy (2018) illustrated specimens they identified as A. brevis that had been reared from Lygus sp. (Hemiptera: Miridae) in Spain, and placed 8 other nominal species in synonymy under it. One of them was described originally from California, USA, and the remainder from four countries in Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy and Romania). Anaphes brevis clearly belongs to subgenus Patasson Walker on the basis of the 2-segmented clava. As understood by Huber and Thuróczy (2018) and assuming their synonymy is correct the species is evidently quite widespread in Europe and is almost certainly an accidental introduction into North America. Because specimens of A. brevis have definitely been reared from at least one species of Lygus Hahn, which contains economically important pests in many crops (Schwartz and Foottit 1998), it is potentially important for biological control. Despite this, relatively few references mentioning the species name brevis exist because no one knew how to recognize the species. Because of its potential importance, a neotype is designated below to fix the name A. brevis objectively and with the express purpose of clarifying the taxonomic status of the species. If the original material is ever discovered, which is unlikely given Graham’s (1982) inability to find it despite his meticulous study of the Haliday (and Walker) collections, Article 75.8 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature applies.

Several corrections to Huber and Thuróczy (2018) are given here: P. 4, line 13 add a colon after “the names under 3 valid genera”; P. 4, line 23 should read “The great majority of Anaphes species were described from Europe”; P. 8, caption to Figure 2 should read “European type localities of Anaphes. See Tables ...”; P. 12, lines 8, 9, and 10, and P. 16, lines 11, 12 and 13, delete parentheses around Soyka and replace Synanaphes, Mymar and Ferrierella with Anaphes; P. 25, line 6, should read crassipennis Soyka, 1946a: 41 (Anaphes); P. 26, line 3 from bottom should read medius Soyka, 1946a: 40 (Anaphes); P. 27, line 13 should read ovipositor Soyka, 1946a: 41 (Anaphes); P. 27, lines 37 and 38 should be moved to just after line 19; P. 27, lines 39 and 40 should be moved to just after line 33; P. 68, caption to figure 33 should read “arrow indicates occipital groove”.


Specimens preserved in ethanol were obtained from the European Parasite Laboratory, ARS, USDA, Orgerus-Béhoust, Yvelines, France. The specimens, including the neotype, had been reared from Lygus sp. in a laboratory culture. The original host and host plant, based on label data, apparently was Lygus sp. on stems of Matricaria sp. Several specimens were cleared and slide mounted in Canada balsam for photography. The remainder were card mounted after critical point drying. Slide-mounted specimens were photographed with a ProgRes C14plus digital camera attached to a Nikon Eclipse E800 compound microscope, and the resulting layers were combined electronically using Zerene Stacker and the images enhanced as needed with Adobe Photoshop (no retouching of the neotype was done). The neotype was measured at 100× magnification using a Leitz stereoscope fitted with an ocular micrometer. Measurements are given in micrometers. The specimens examined are deposited in two institutions:

BMNH Natural History Museum, London, England;

CNC Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Anaphes brevis Walker, 1846

Figs 1, 2, 3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–11

Anaphes brevis Walker, 1846: 52 (original description); Graham 1982: 214 (diagnosis, discussion [as Anaphes ?brevis]); Huber and Thuróczy 2018: 28 (catalogue), 46 (key).

Type material

Neotype ♀ (BMNH) here designated to avoid ambiguity about the identity of this species, whose type material is lost (Graham 1982). The neotype (Fig. 1) is card mounted and in good condition but faded to brown, with 4 labels: 1. “FRANCE Yvelines Behoust vi.1987”. 2. “D. Coutinot Vial 2. F3 lab. culture”. 3. “ex Lygus eggs. CIE A19211”. 4. “NEOTYPE ♀ Anaphes brevis Walker”.

Figure 1. 

Anaphes brevis, neotype, habitus. Scale bar: 500 μm.

Type locality

France, Yvelines, Béhoust, which is about 100 km from Walker’s original collecting locality (Fontainbleau Forest). The neotype is designated from among specimens near the type locality rather than from among specimens reared in Spain (illustrated in Huber and Thuróczy 2018, figs 32–49), relatively far from the type locality. It is deposited in the institution (BMNH) where many of Walker’s primary types of Chalcidoidea are located. The slide mounted specimens illustrated (Figs 211) came from the same laboratory culture as the neotype.

Figures 2, 3. 

Anaphes brevis, head. 2 anterior 3 posterior. Scale bars: 100 μm.

Species diagnosis

In Europe, A. (Patasson) brevis belongs to a small group of species with occipital groove directed medially towards occipital foramen, thus forming an angle with supraorbital trabecula and strongly diverging away from posterior margin of eye (Fig. 3), and with fore wing hyaline (Fig. 7, top arrow), its posterior margin with a short hyaline section subapically separating distal dark margin from proximal slightly darker margin (Fig. 7, left arrow), and cubital line of seta distinctly separated by a gap from posterior margin of fore wing (Fig. 7, bottom arrow). It is distinguished from the most similar species, A. collinus Walker, 1846 (type locality: Northern Ireland, Belfast, Cavehill) and A. inexpectatus Huber & Prinsloo, 1990 (introduced from Australia into Portugal and established there) by the following combination of features: length/width of fl2–fl5 each at least 3.1 in most specimens (Fig. 5) and with 2 mps (Figs 1, 5), though sometimes fl4 with 1 or 0 mps (Fig. 6), the segments without or with 1 mps usually shorter and slightly narrower than remaining funicle segments (rarely, the same specimen may have different numbers of mps on fl4); fore wing relatively wide (length/width 3.66–4.61) cubital row of setae separated from posterior margin of fore wing by a noticeable gap (Figs 1, 7); ovipositor at most about 1.5 as long as metatibia, extending anteriorly under mesosoma at most to level of mesocoxa (Fig. 11).

Figures 4–6. 

Anaphes brevis. 4 head + base of antennae 5 antenna, outer surface 6 antenna, inner surface. Note difference in fl4 and cross striations on inner surface of scape (striations very faint and more longitudinal on outer surface). Scale bars: 200 μm.

Figures 7–9. 

Anaphes brevis. 7 wings (see text for discussion) 8 body, dorsal 9 with frenum-gaster internal (more ventral) to show mesofurca and ovipositor through gaster; dashed line indicates anterior extension of ovipositor. Scale bars: 200 μm.

Figures 10, 11. 

Anaphes brevis, body, lateral. 10 outer surface 11 median view of gaster showing ovipositor. Scale bars: 200 μm.

Female (neotype). Body length 645 μm. Antenna brown, with apex of scape and pedicel except narrowly along their dorsal surfaces lighter brown; body and legs dark brown (presumably black if neotype were fresh) except trochantellus and apex of femora, base and apex of tibia, and tarsomeres 1–3 white. Antenna with length measurements as follows: scape (not measurable, its base hidden by collapsed face), pedicel 50, fl1 20, fl2 50, fl3 70, fl4 60, fl5 60, fl6 50, clava 110. Fore wing length/width 3.95 (790/200); ovipositor/metatibia length 1.49 (395/265), the ovipositor sac extending to base of mesocoxa. Metatarsomere 1 distinctly shorter than metatarsomere 2.

Additional material examined

CHINA. Hebei. Beijing, Mentougou, 1140-1250m, 19.v.2002, Zhu C.-d. (1 ♀ on slide, CNC). Shaanxi. Zhouzhi,, Zhu C.-d. (1 ♀, 1 ♂ on points, 1 ♀ on slide, CNC); Foping, 1750–2150m,, Zhu C.-d. (1 ♀ on slide, CNC). Tibet. Riwoqê, 3920 m, 17.viii.2001, Zhu C.-d. (1 ♂ on slide, CNC). FRANCE. Yvelines. Béhoust, 30.vii.1986, ex Lygus sp. in stems of Matricaria and in laboratory culture on Lygus, F1 and F3 generations, vi.1987, D. Coutinot, CIE A19211 (5 ♀, 3 ♂ on cards; 9 ♀, 4 ♂ on slides, CNC). MOROCCO. Marrakech. Ouirgane, 1000 m, 4–10.ix, 10-22.ix, 29.x–4.xi.1996, C. Kassebeer (2 ♀, 1 ♂, CNC). SPAIN. Gerona. Navata, emerged 21.ix.2000 ex. Lygus eggs on Chenopodium in cages, 14–21.ix.2000, D. Coutinot & J. Lopez (17 ♀, 6 ♂ on cards; 3 ♀, 2 ♂ on slides, CNC). UNITED KINGDOM. England. Berkshire, Ascot, Silwood Park, 11 &, J.S. Noyes (4 ♀ on cards, CNC). Wales. Wrexham, 10 km SW Llangollen, Llamon Dyffryn Ceiriog, 31.vii.1999, J.S Noyes (1♀, CNC).


Anaphes (Patasson) collinus Walker, described on the same page but before A. brevis, presents an interesting problem. It is very similar to A. brevis in wing colour and antennal features, but fl4 almost always has no mps (Huber & Thuróczy 2018, figs 90b, c). Otherwise, A. collinus is smaller, with a longer, trombone-shaped ovipositor extending as far as base of procoxa.

In Europe, specimens of A. collinus were reared from stems of Cardraria draba containing eggs of Ceutorhynchus cardraria Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) from Romania, Valea Lupului, with various collecting/emergence dates in iv & v.2010, A. Diaconu (16 ♀ & 15 ♂ on cards, 2 ♀ on slides, CNC) and a similar, possibly undescribed species with generally longer funicle segments has been reared from Rhinocyllus conicus (Frölich) (Curculionidae) on Carduus nutans and Silybum marianum from France, Bouches-du-Rhône, St. Martin de Crau, 10.v.1988, J.-P. Aeschlimann (2 ♀, CNC) and Hérault, La Vacquerie-et-Saint-Martin-de-Castries, 19.vii.1985, J.-P. Aeschlimann (1 ♀, CNC). Whether these specimens actually represent A. brevis (or are indeed A. collinus, if priority of position on page is accepted) or yet another species, with the variation due to rearing from a different host order or different species is unknown. Since both named species parasitize hosts that are economically important or potentially so it might be worth determining their species status and host range.

In North America, A. conotracheli (Girault, 1905) is also extremely similar to A. brevis. Huber (2006) compared and contrasted A. conotracheli with A. pallipes (Ashmead, 1887) that Huber and Thuróczy (2018) placed in synonymy under A. collinus. The neotype fits very well Walker’s (1846) short description of brevis quoted above but depending on the specimen it also more or less fits his equally short description of collinus: “Fem. Antennarum articulis a 4° inde alternis minoribus” and could also fit specimens of A. conotracheli. Because the relative size of fl4 may vary, even between the antennae of the same specimen, and all three species have very similar fore wings, the neotype designation for A. brevis is even more important. Body length and, possibly, relative length of ovipositor (compared to metatibia length) may also vary depending on host though this needs to be verified. Breeding experiments among individuals and their progeny reared on different hosts (Lygus spp. versus various Curculionidae) and rearing F1 progeny on the alternate host to their parents, as was done with Anaphes iole Girault, 1911 (Huber and Rajakulendran 1988) or several species of Anaphes reared from carrot weevil, Listronotus oregonensis (LeConte) (Curculionidae) (Huber et al. 1997), might elucidate whether only one or several biological species are involved.


Dominique Continot (retired, ARS USDA European Parasite Laboratory) kindly sent me specimens reared by him and Chao-dong Zhu (Chinese Academy of Sciences), send me the specimens from China. J. Read (CNC, retired) is especially thanked for preparing the images and compiling them into plates for publication.


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