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Species Aleiodes stigmator - Stigmata Mummy Wasp

Cat on a cattail - Aleiodes stigmator Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar - Aleiodes stigmator Parasitized Caterpillar - Aleiodes stigmator Marsh Moth Mummy in Wet Prairie - Aleiodes stigmator Morphing Caterpillar - Aleiodes stigmator Caterpillar - Aleiodes stigmator Possibly parasitized caterpillar - Aleiodes stigmator NJ Aleiodes stigmator remains - Aleiodes stigmator
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" (parasitoid Apocrita))
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea (Braconid and Ichneumonid Wasps)
Family Braconidae (Braconid Wasps)
Subfamily Rogadinae (Mummy Wasps)
Genus Aleiodes (Common Mummy Wasps)
Species stigmator (Stigmata Mummy Wasp)
Pronunciation
a-lee-OH-deez STIG-mah-tor
Explanation of Names
"The name 'stigmata mummy-wasp' is a reference to the exit holes that are produced in the host caterpillar. Thomas Say thought they looked like the stigmata in the hands and feet of the Christ." - Shaw 2006
Size
4–5 mm
Identification
Body mostly honey-yellow except metanotum and propodeum brown to black. Metasoma sometimes with first tergite dark brown- black. Can be distinguished from similar species by strongly pectinate tarsal claws, with teeth located along the entire length of the claw, distinct from others in which tarsal teeth are at most located basally.
Range
Widely distributed across Canada and northern U.S.
Habitat
Generally associated with wetlands and near cattails and willows.
Season
Adults emerge from mummies in late summer and early autumn.
Food
A. stigmatoris the only gregarious Aleiodes parasitoid in the Nearctic so far as known. Hosts include various noctuids in genus Acronicta, including Simyra henrici, and some Catocala species.
Remarks
The host remains (mummies) of A. stigmator are easily distinguished by the numerous exit holes from which adult parasitoids emerged. Aleiodes stigmator are quite similar to other Aleiodes species within the same size range and having similar color and ocellar size (smaller or about equal to distance from lateral ocellus to eye). The most distinctive characteristic which separates this species from similar species is the strongly pectinate tarsal claws of this species. See Figure 2d in Fortier & Shaw 1999 (citation below).

This is the oldest described Nearctic species, described by Thomas Say in 1824.
Print References
Mason, W. R. M. 1979. A new Rogas (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) prasite of tent caterpillars (Malacosoma spp. Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) in Canada. Canadian Entomologist 111:783-786.

Fortier, J. C. and S. R. Shaw. 1999. Cladistics of the Aleiodes Lineage of the Subfamily Rogadinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 8(2).