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Subfamily Aphelopinae

Crovettia theliae - female Crovettia theliae - female Aphelopus albopictus Ashmead - Aphelopus albopictus - male wasp - Aphelopus varicornis wasp - Aphelopus varicornis wasp - Aphelopus varicornis Tiny white faced Wasp. - Aphelopus varicornis Aphelopinae
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Chrysidoidea (Cuckoo Wasps and Allies)
Family Dryinidae (Dryinids)
Subfamily Aphelopinae
2 genera total, with 6 spp. in our area and 55 spp. total(1)(2)
1-3 mm (3)
These are tiny wasps with unique wing venation. The wing venation is similar to that of Megaspilidae, but is distinguished by having two closely parallel veins enclosing a long, narrow cell along the front wing margin, rather than a single vein, as in Megaspilidae.
Larvae of Aphelopus species parasitize leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) in subfamily Typhlocybinae. Larvae of Crovettia parasitize treehoppers (Membracidae)(3)
Life Cycle
Larvae are koinobiont parasitoids. Unlike other dryinids, Crovettia remains endoparasitic throughout all larval stages.(3)
Although wing venation in this subfamily is more reduced than in any other dryinid subfamily, and reduced wing venation is generally associated with derived, or modern evolutionary position, other characteristics of the Aphelopinae are basal. Differences between sexes is very slight. Females do not have modified front legs for grasping, as in most other dryinid females. Because of these basal (as opposed to derived) characteristics, aphelopines are believed to be "primitive."(3)
Works Cited
1.Hymenoptera of the world: an identification guide to families
Goulet H., Huber J., eds. 1993. Agriculture Canada Publication 1894/E. 668 pp.
2.Dicky Sick Ki Yu (1997-2015) Home of Ichneumonoidea (Taxapad)
3.The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica
Paul E. Hanson and Ian D. Gauld, editors. 1995. Oxford University Press.