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Subfamily Tetrastichinae

Diagnosis - Postmarginal vein (PMV) absent or rudimentary, at most half the length of the stigmal vein (STV). Scutellum with two pairs of setae, and usually with two pairs of longitudinal lines (submedian and sublateral). Female antenna with three funicular segments; male antenna with four. Submarginal vein (SMV) with 1, 2, 3 or more setae on dorsal surface. Notauli always straight and complete to hind margin of mesoscutum. Axilla usually strongly advanced, defining a linear or almost linear scapula. Male antennal scape with a sensory plaque on ventral edge.

Classification and distribution - The Tetrastichinae is one of the two largest subfamilies of the Eulophidae, with about 1650 species in 90 genera. Members are common and abundant in all geographic realms. It is currently divided into two tribes: the Gyrolasomyiini contains only 2 species in one genus; the Tetrastichini contains everything else.

Identification - Keys to genera of Tetrastichinae are available for Australasia (Boucek, 1988), Europe (Graham, 1987; 1991) and North America (La Salle, 1994; Schauff et al. 1997). Gauthier et al. (2000) provided a list all genera in this subfamily. Noyes (2003) provided an electronic catalogue for the entire Chalcidoidea.

Biology - Biologically the Tetrastichinae is one of the most interesting groups of Chalcidoidea. Hosts of this subfamily are found in 100 families of insects in ten different orders, in addition to spider eggs, gall-forming mites, and even nematodes; a few species are partially or completely phytophagous. The subfamily includes both ectoparasitic and endoparasitic species, although the latter appear to be more prevalent (Graham, 1987). Within the Tetrastichinae, there are only a very few genera which appear to be restricted to leafmining hosts (e.g. Minotetrastichus, Mischotetrastichus). More frequently, species which attack leafminers belong to genera with very wide host ranges (e.g. Aprostocetus, Baryscapus, Pronotalia, Quadrastichus).






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October 2005
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