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Tribe Elasmini

Diagnosis – Male funicle 4-segmented, with the first 3 segments branched; female funicle 3-segmented. Hind coxa flattened and enlarged. Hind tibia with alternating diamond shaped or wavy rows of dark setae. Notauli absent. Scutellum usually with 2 pairs of setae and without sublateral grooves. Dorsellum with a triangular expansion which partly covers propodeum. Forewing densely setose, long, narrow and wedge-shaped; numerous setae on submarginal vein, marginal vein quite long, short postmarginal vein and reduced stigmal vein. Propleura meeting or not posteriorly and covering prosternum.

Classification and distribution – The tribe Elasmini is sufficiently distinctive that in the past it has been considered a separate family (e.g. Boucek, 1988; Gibson et al., 1997). However, recent DNA investigations (Gauthier et al., 2000) have shown that Elasmini are belong in the subfamily Eulophinae.
Elasmus Westwood is the only genus of this tribe: it is cosmopolitan in distribution and includes more than 200 species (Noyes, 2003).

Identification - Elasmus is easily recognizable from other eulophids by having the distinctive characters mentioned above. Boucek (1988) and Gibson et al. (1997) provide keys to distinguish this genus (as the family Elasmidae) from other chalcidoids. Keys to the species of Elasmus are provided by Burks (1965) for North America, by Graham (1995) for Europe, by Durdyev et al. (1992) for species living on Lepidoptera in Turkmenia, by Kostjukov (2000c) for Russia, by Mani and Saraswat (1972) and Verma et al. (2002) for India.

Biology – Larvae of most species of Elasmus are gregarious, primary ectoparasitoids of the larvae or prepupae of leafmining, leafrolling, web-spinning and casemaking Lepidoptera. A few species are facultative or obligatory hyperparasitoids of Lepidoptera, via cocooned prepupae of Braconidae and Ichneumonidae. A few species are primary ectoparasitoids of Vespidae (Polistes Latreille) and of leaf-mining Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae: Hispinae) (Coote, 1997).






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