Validation of Distatrix pandora Grinter, 2009 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae)
expand article infoChristopher C. Grinter, James B. Whitfield§
‡ California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, United States of America
§ University of Illinois, Urbana, United States of America
Open Access

Grinter et al. (2009) described six new Neotropical species of Distatrix Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae), including D. pandora Grinter, which was described as a parasitoid reared from Eois nympha and related caterpillars (Geometridae) feeding on Piper cenocladium (Piperaceae) in Central America. In the “Material examined” section of the paper, the depositories of the topotypic portion of the type series (including the holotype) were provided, but the precise depository location of the holotype was inadvertently left unspecified. As such, under Article 16.4.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the name Distratrix pandora can be considered unavailable. The purpose of this note is to correct the oversight in Grinter et al. (2009) – the holotype depository is provided below – and to make the name D. pandora formally available.

Distatrix pandora Grinter, sp. n.

Distratrix pandora Grinter, 2009 (Grinter et al. 2009: 13–15; figs. 14–19, 23, 27, 28, 32, 34).

Unavailable name.

Material examined. Holotype female: PANAMA: Barro Colorado Island. 9°09'N, 90°51'W, artificial island made up of 15 km2 of lowland moist forest located in the Panama Canal (Gatun Lake), 2003. Holotype deposited in MIUP (Museo de Invertebrados Graham Bell Fairchild, Universidad de Panamá). Paratypes: 9 females, 10 males, similar data except emergence and pupation dates. 9 females, 10 males, similar data except 2004. 1 female, similar data except 11 June 2001. 1 male, 1 female, similar data except 22 July 2003. 3 females, 3 males, similar data except 23 July 2003. 1 female, similar data except 25 June 2005. (MIUP, INHS and CAS collections). 3 females, 7 males: COSTA RICA: Heredia Prov., La Selva Biological Reserve, located at 100m on the Caribbean slope, 10°26'N 83°59'W (Hartshorn and Hammel 1994, 1 male, ECUADOR: Napo Prov., Yanayacu Biol. Station 80% primary forest, montane wet forest at 2100m 0°42'01.33”S, 77°44'00.00"W, 16 March 2002. 1 male, similar data except 3 June 2001.

Hosts. (Fig. 14) Single holotype female reared from Eois nympha (Geometridae) feeding on Piper cenocladum C. DC. (Piperaceae). All other host data from Costa Rica and Panama similar except locality, pupation and eclosion times. Two male specimens from Ecuador reared from an undetermined Geometridae.

Diagnosis. This species is almost identical to Distatrix teapae (Nixon), both in morphology and coloration, sharing with it and D. solanae Whitfield, D. xanadon, pitillaensis and D. belliger (Wilkinson) the enlarged eyes (females only at least in D. pandora). With D. teapae and at least D. maia (Nixon), D. formosus (Wesmael), D. loretta, xanadon, vigilis, pitillaensis (but not D. belliger), it shares a modified distal front tarsomere, which is excavated apically on the ventral side and bears a strongly curved modified spine.

This new species differs from D. teapae in having an overall smaller body size, darker coloration. In addition, the hypopygium of the new species appears to be wider medially, more so than immediately anteriad sternum (in D. teapae the hypopygium gradually tapers towards anterior apex (Fig. 21)). The new species also is conspicuously setiferous along entire width of ventral sclera, whereas in D. teapae the setae are constricted to the ventral third of specimen.

The distances between the ocellus and eye margins, as well as the flagellomere distances are slightly larger by about half than that of D. teapae. D. pandora also shares with at least herein described species, a very large lateral metapleural pit, which appears to be reduced in D. teapae (Fig. 25). Mesopleural sternaulus is also nearly absent in D. teapae. Metasomal tergum II with median area defined by grooves diverging at an angle roughly 90°, whereas in D. teapae the angle is greater than 120° (Fig. 20).

D. pandora appears to be a specialist on Eois caterpillars, however specific level interactions are undetermined.


  • Grinter C, Whitfield JB, Connahs H, Dyer LA, Hallwachs W, Janzen DH (2009) A key to Neotropical Distatrix Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with descriptions of six new reared species. Journal of Insect Science 9(25): 1–17.