Comprehensive Description

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Several species of the genus Eurytoma have been reared as larval ectoparasitoids of fruit-infesting Tephritidae, most notably in Europe and Africa, and most frequently in association with work on the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi). For example, Silvestri (1914) reported Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) as a host for Eurytoma rosae Nees in Italy. Also, Eurytoma cf. martelli has been collected from Rhagoletis berberidis infesting Berberis in Europe (Hoffmeister 1992). More recently, Eurytoma sivinskii has been described from Mexico and investigated as a parasitoid of tephritid pests in the genus Anastrepha. Details can be found on the page for this species.


The species attacking fruit-infesting tephritids have generally been characterized as polyphagous. Caution should also be exercised when attempting to determine hosts of Eurytoma since some species are known to be phytophagous.


Both Eurytoma oleae Silvestri and Sycophila aethiopica (Silvestri) have been reared from cultivated olives in South Africa (Neuenschwander 1982). Both Silvestri (1915) and Neuenschwander (1982) noted that Eurytoma oleae developed on the seeds of olives and is thus phytophagous. Sycophila aethiopica, on the other hand, is most likely to be a parasitoid of seed-infesting chalcidoids, as is Eurytoma varicolor Silvestri (Silvestri 1915).


Members of the genus Eurytoma are exceptionally difficult to identify to species, but the family can be readily recognized by the quadrate, usually deeply pitted pronotum (Fig. 1) and general habitus (Fig. 2).


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