Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 18 - Chalcidoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera) - Introduction, and review of smaller families - Zoogeographic Relationships

Noyes, JS; Valentine, EW 1989. Chalcidoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera) - introduction, and review of smaller families. Fauna of New Zealand 18, 96 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 18. ISBN 0-477-02545-5 (print), ). Published 02 Aug 1989

Zoogeographic Relationships

The numbers of genera and species of Chalcidoidea known in New Zealand are shown in Table l. A striking feature of the chalcid fauna is the unusally high number of species of Mymaridae, i.e., about 25% of the total. In contrast, the family Mymaridae contains about 7% of the known chalcid species in the world (Noyes 1978) or about 6% of chalcid specics known in the United Kingdom (Fitton et al. 1978). Many mymarid species in New Zealand live on or near the round, and are associated with habitats such as leaf litter and native grasses rather than arboreal habitats. In these species there has been a tendency towards wing reduction or loss; this is also true of the Trichogrammatidae. Some New Zealand mymarids are probably among the largest and most spectacular in the world. Two species placed in Australomymar Girault exceed 4 mm in length, excluding the ovipositor. These and many other unusual species are discussed more fully in Noyes & Valentine (1989).

Other notable features of the chalcid fauna are the large number of species of Pteroptrix (Aphelinidae), possibly over 30; the large number of elachertine species (Eulophidae); and the fairly large endemic genus Adelencyrtoides (Encyrtidae), which contains 14 species. Some families such as Agaonidae, Chalcididae, Elasmidae, Eurytomidae, and Signiphoridae are poorly represented, and probably have few endemic species.

Table 2 summarises the zoogeographic relationships of the New Zealand chalcid fauna, and clearly demonstrates a high level of endemicity, more than 25% of the genera known from New Zealand having been recorded from nowhere else (Category 1). These genera contain at least 109 species, or 17% of the known fauna. This figure excludes endemic species which represent more widely distributed genera (about 33% of the known New Zealand genera), and it is possible that future work will show perhaps as many as half of the species to be endemic to New Zealand. The numbers of genera which indicate a possible earlier southern distribution (Category 4) are few, these belonging to the Eulophidae, Mymaridae, and Pteromalidae. About 50 genera contain species known to have been introduced from Australia, Europe, or North America (Categories 6 - 9), either purposefully for biological control purposes or accidentally with exotic plants, e.g., Ficus, Acacia, Eucalyptus.

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