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Minute wasp - Aphelinoidea - female

Minute wasp - Aphelinoidea - Female
Sandia Mountains, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA
October 9, 2011
Size: 0.51 mm
Download high resolution image here.

Any help in identifying this minute wasp is appreciated. My guess is that it's in Superfamily Chalcidoidea, but something more specific would be nice.

I collected this wasp on Tree Spring Trl. 147, 9000 ft, Sandia Crest 7.5’ quadrangle in the Sandia Mountains, Bernalillo Co, NM from a Berlese funnel loaded with forest floor detritus collected from under and around a rotting log in a conifer forest.

Note the extremely narrow hindwings with long fringing hairs which overlap the forewings. The right hindwing (left side of image) is somewhat less clear because it is viewed through the transparent right forewing.

This specimen was treated with HMDS(1).

This view is a CombineZP processed stack of 163 images with a 1.8 micron step taken with a Nikon BD 20X 0.40NA microscope objective + adapter/extension tube + Nikon D300 camera.

Moved from Trichogrammatidae.

Moved from ID Request.

Features such as the minute size, short antennae, wide wings with a marginal fringe, and 3-segmented tarsi confirm this group. All egg parasitoids. Very nice Edward.

See reference here.

Aphelinoidea sp.
Thanks for the family ID. I emailed John D. Pinto (an expert in this family) for further information. He replied, "The trichogrammatid is a species of Aphelinoidea. Species id is not possible - certainly not from the photo and perhaps not even if a slide could have been made. There are probably quite a few undescribed species out there. Unlike Trichogramma, Aphelinoidea species hit leafhopper eggs primarily."

This genus and its species are discussed in Doutt and Viggiani(1), a good reference for the family. I will request a new genus page.

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