Apanteles crassicornis (Provancher, 1866) is the largest species of Apanteles in North America, with a body length (head to apex of metasoma) reaching up to 5.0 mm. The species is also noteworthy because of its elongate face and enlarged glossa, which are supposedly related to the gathering of pollen or nectar1.
Because of its size, this is one of the few microgastrines that can actually be seen in the wild, and in fact it is the only Apanteles species whose adult specimens have been recorded as feeding on plants, namely two wildflowers from the families Apiaceae and Asteraceae2.
This wasp species was described from Quebec, in 1886, by the Canadian priest and naturalist, Léon Abel Provancher -known as "The Father of Natural History in Canada"3. Its known distribution is mostly eastern North America, but there are a few records in western Canada and one record from Arizona, suggesting the species might be more widespread1.
Nothing is known about its host caterpillar, but it is likely that the wasp is a solitary parasitoid (i.e. one adult wasp emerges from one host)1.
- 1- Braconidae wasps, caterpillars and biocontrol. http://cncbraconidae.blogspot.ca/2012/11/what-do-we-know-about-largest-apanteles.html
- 2- http://eol.org/pages/3771166/details
- 3- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Abel_Provancher
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