Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 12 - Pompilidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) - Faunal Relationships

Harris, AC 1987. Pompilidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 12, 160 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 12. ISBN 0-477-02501-3 (print), ). Published 13 Nov 1987

Faunal Relationships

Endemic Pompilidae belonging to both subfamilies have systematic affinities confined largely to the Southern Hemisphere. This conforms to a pattern which recurs throughout the Hymenoptera, for many diverse groups have a clear Holarctic element and a well defined Paleoaustral component. For example, clear transantarctic relationships are found in Crabronidae (Leclerq 1952), Apoidea (e.g., tribe Paracolletini; Michener 1964), Diapriidae (Masner 1969), Proctotrupidae (Oglobin 1960), Scelionidae (Masner 1968), and other families and tribes.

Subfamily Pompilinae, tribe Epipompilini

Epipompilus has an essentially southern distribution, with extant species from South America (13; Evans 1967), the United States (1; Evans 1967), South Africa ("one or two"; M.C. Day, pers. comm.), New Guinea (at least 5; Evans 1972), Australia including Tasmania (33; Evans 1972), and New Zealand (1). In addition, Mr M.C. Day (pers. comm.) states that he has a specimen near Epipompilus from Malaysia that "widens the scope of the group considerably". The range of the genus may formerly have been more extensive. For example, Evans (1962) states that species belonging to Epipompilus constitute half of the Pompilidae from the Baltic amber in the collection of the American Museum of Comparative Zoology. The genus attains its greatest (extant) diversity in Australia. Of the Australian species described and figured by Evans (1972), a number of eastern and Tasmanian species seem very similar to E. insularis. For example, in the male of E. bushi Evans (from eastern Australia) the aedeagus, parapenial lobe, digitus, and paramere are very similar in shape to those of E. insularis, except that in bushi the last-named is much shorter relative to the other lobes. Both the paramere and the digitus have very long, apically hooked setae similar to those of insularis. The remaining described aspects of the structure of bushi bear a close resemblance to the New Zealand species, and coloration is almost identical. Clearly, the sister-species of E. insularis occurs in eastern Australia and Tasmania.

Subfamily Pepsinae, tribe Pepsini

The endemic Pepsinae also have southern, transantarctic affinities. Genus Sphictostethus is virtually confined to Chile, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Tasmania, and New Zealand, paralleling the distribution of Nothofagus, the southern beeches. The three New Zealand species link the group around S. gravesii Haliday with that around S. xanthopus Spinola (Chile) plus S. aliciae Turner and S. xanthochrous Turner (Tasmania); see Remarks under Sphictostethus, p. 63. The affinities of Priocnemis subgenus Trichocurgus are less clear. Cryptocheilus australis, a common Australian species, was accidentally introduced into New Zealand in the early 1960s. It does not occur outside Australia and New Zealand.

The species of Pompilidae native to New Zealand uniformly show evidence of long occupancy, for example by their disjunctive geographical races and the extensive series of Batesian mimics based on the females.

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