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Tribe Cirrospilini

Diagnosis - Funicle with usually 2 segments (rarely 3). Face usually with transverse sulcus about midway between torulus and anterior ocellus. Propleura separated posteriorly, exposing prosternum. Notauli variable: complete, straight or nearly so, and reaching hind margin of mesoscutum; complete, curved to meet anterior margin of axilla (ax); incomplete. Scutellum with at least two pairs of setae, and with sublateral grooves often (usually) present (even if only faintly indicated). Submarginal vein with 3 or more setae on dorsal surface. Postmarginal vein (PMV) present, from about half the length of stigmal vein (STV) to twice the length of stigmal vein, although most often about equal in length to stigmal vein.

Classification and distribution - The Cirrospilini is worldwide in distribution, and contains about 250 species in 17 genera (the vast majority of these in the genus Cirrospilus).

Identification - There are no keys strictly to Cirrospilini; however keys to all Eulophinae genera are available for Australasia (Boucek 1988) and North America (Schauff et al., 1997). Gauthier et al. (2000) provided a list all genera in this tribe.

Biology - Cirrospilini are almost exclusively ectoparasitoids (mostly idiobionts) of phytophagous insects concealed within plant tissue, with leafminers and gall formers being the most common hosts. The Cirrospilini contains some of the most important genera of agromyzid leafminer parasitoids. Of particular importance is Diglyphus, which contains several species which have been extensively used in biological control. Other genera containing leafmining agromyzid parasitoids include Diaulinopsis, Cirrospilus, Zagrammosoma, Meruana, Danuviella and Semielacher. The Cirrospilini as a group appears to be more niche specific than host specific. For example, among those that are associated with leaf-miners, closely related species (or even the same species in some cases) can attack hosts in several different orders and can sometimes be facultative hyperparasitoids.






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October 2005
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