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Key to the Genera of Pteromalidae of India and the Adjacent Countries (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea)

Identification Key

Series: Records of the Zoological Survey of India Occasional Papers Volume: 229

By: PM Sureshan (Author), TC Narendran (Author)

56 pages, illustrations

Zoological Survey of India

Paperback | Jan 2004 | #230633 | ISBN: 8181710428
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NHBS Price: £17.99 $23/€21 approx

About this book

Language: English

From the introduction:

"The family Pteromalidae is one of the largest and taxonomically difficult families of Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) to deal with. They are distributed in all biogeographical areas of the world and show great diversity in their morphological and biological characteristics. The majority of Pteromalidae are primary or secondary parasitoids attacking a large range of insect hosts in their various stages of development, and hence are of economic importance in the biological control of noxious insect pests. A few pteromalids are also phytophagous developing in seeds of plants, some make galls in plants and still others develop as inquilines in galls caused by other insects.

The family comprises over 3000 described species and 552 genera globally (Boucek & Heydon, 1997). Though there were several scattered publications on the systematics of Pteromalidac of India and adjacent countries, it was Boucek et al. (1979), who provided a complete picture of the then fauna of the region. They recorded a total of 112 species of Pteromalidae under 30 genera. Later Farooqi and Subba Rao (1985, 1986) keyed out and catalogued 90 species of Pteromalidae under 78 genera from India and adjacent countries. Several new genera and species have been subsequently described under the family from the region (Ahmad, 1995, 1997, 1998, Ahmad & Agarwal, 1994 a,b, Sureshan, 1999, 2000, 2001 a, b, c, Sureshan & Narendran, 1995, 1998, 2000 a, b, Narendran & Mini, 1998). Recently Sureshan (2003) made a comprehensive revision of the subfamily Pteromalinae of the Indian subcontinent which included 131 species under 57 genera. Sureshan & Narendran (2003) have also compiled a checklist of the Pteromalidae recorded from the Indian subcontinent. The checklist deals with altogether 96 genera and 198 species. Subsequently, Gibson (2003) synonymised Riekisura keralensis Narendran under Soleneura, thus reducing the number of genera known from the region to 95.

In order to facilitate the identification of the 95 genera of Pteromalidae currently known from the region an updated key to genera is provided here. Sphegigastrella Masi, a genus of the subfamily Pteromalinae as recorded by earlier authors is not included in the present key because of the suspicion of the validity of the taxon. The genus originally belongs to the African region and an undetermined species of it was recorded from the Indian subcontinent (Boucek et al. 1979). The geographical area covered by the key broadly includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. According to Boucek et al. (1979) the pteromalid fauna of this region is not isolated from the rest of the world. Recent studies proved that many Palearctic and circumtropical genera and species are represented here."


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