Parassitoid wasp: Encyrtidae? No: Aphelinidae

Parassitoid wasp: Encyrtidae? No: Aphelinidae

Postby mammut on 02 Feb 2018, 01:23

Observing some pictures of a colony of Icerya purchasi (Margarodidae, Hemiptera Sternorryncha) I made on June 2, 2017 near Bologna, Italy, I noted this small wasp. I have been told it might be an Encyrtidae. Is it possible to confirm the family and is there any species/genus known to attack Icerya purchasi?
IMG_2906ming.JPG

Thanks a lot for any supplementary information!
Franziska
Last edited by mammut on 03 Feb 2018, 00:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parassitoid wasp of Icerya purchasi: Encyrtidae?

Postby chalcidbear on 02 Feb 2018, 17:43

I don't think this is an encyrtid. It looks a lot more like a species of Aphelinidae (I think I see a very long marginal vein). The color (all black with a yellow scutellum) reminds me of the genus Coccophagus, but there are no Coccophagus associated with I. purchasi. The only aphelinid associated with the scale is Euryischia lestophoni (and it is from Australia/New Zealand). I don't know what E. lestophoni looks like, but it certainly is possible that it was accidentally imported into Italy along with the scale.

However, I think it most likely your specimen is just a native species checking out the scale, and is not necessarily attacking it.
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Re: Parassitoid wasp of Icerya purchasi: Encyrtidae?

Postby mammut on 03 Feb 2018, 00:39

Thank you so much Chalcidbear for your explanations! I never saw an Aphelinidae before, so I'm already happy to know the family.
You might be right that the wasp was not actually attacking the scale, in fact already in the subsequent picture it went off.
IMG_2907m.JPG

Thanks again!

P.S. Please excuse an error in my first message: the date of observation was July 24,1917
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