Comprehensive Description

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Members of this family are frequently reared from infested fruit. Although many of these species attack other insects within the fruit, there are several that appear to be exclusively parasitic on fruit-infesting Tephritidae. These include at least three species of Tetrastichus native to Africa (LaSalle and Wharton 2002) as well as Aceratoneuromyia indica (Silvestri) , a species apparently originating in southern Asia but which has been widely distributed for biological control of several tephritid pests. Several genera of eulophids have been reared from olives in association with studies on the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi). Whether all of these attack olive fly is questionable, but at least some of them do (e. g. Pnigalio mediterraneus Ferriere and Delucchi, P. longulus (Zetterstedt, 1838), and Neochrysocharis formosa (Westwood, 1833)). Melittobia has also been reared from Tephritidae, though members of this genus are better known as parastioids of nesting aculeate Hymenoptera.


Eulophids can be readily distinguished from all other parasitoids of fruit-infesting tephritids by their four-segmented tarsi. Aceratoneuromyia indica (Figs. 1, 2) has a brown body, and lacks longitudinal grooves on the scutellum. The three species of Tetrastichus noted above are metallic in color (usually blue or bluish-black) (Figs. 3, 4) and usually have distinct longitudinal grooves on the scutellum. These characters do not hold for all members of their respective genera, but provide a convenient means of separating the three species of Tetrastichus from A. indica in places where they co-occur.


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© Robert Wharton

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