We describe seven new species of Spathidexia (Diptera: Tachinidae) reared from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. All were reared from various species of ACG caterpillars during an ongoing inventory of caterpillars, their food plants and their parasitoids. By coupling morphology, photographic documentation, life history and molecular data, we provide a clear and concise description of each species. All are known to be previously undescribed as a result of a comprehensive study of the genus by DMW. Spathidexia atripalpus sp. n., Spathidexia juanvialesi sp. n., Spathidexia marioburgosi sp. n., Spathidexia luisrobertogallegosi sp. n., Spathidexia luteola sp. n., Spathidexia hernanrodriguezi sp. n. and Spathidexia aurantiaca sp. n. are all authored and described by Fleming and Wood. Minthodexiopsis Townsend is proposed by Wood as a new synonym of Spathidexia. A new combination proposed by Wood as a result of the new synonymy is S. flavicornis (Brauer & Bergenstamm) comb. n.
Background We describe five new species in the genus Vibrissina Rondani from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG). All species were reared from wild-caught sawfly larvae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Argidae and Tenthredinidae). We provide a morphological description of each species together with information on life history, molecular data, and photographic documentation. New information Five new species of Vibrissina Rondani: Vibrissina randycurtisi sp. n., V randyjonesi sp. n., V robertwellsi sp. n., V. danmartini sp. n., V hallwachsorum sp. n.
Background We describe two new species in the genus Erythromelana Townsend, 1919 from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. Both species were reared from wild-caughtcaterpillars of Eois spp. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). We provide a concise description of each species using morphology, life history, molecular data, and photographic documentation. New information Erythromelana jimmychevezi Fleming & Wood sp. nov.
We describe three new species in the genus Ametadoria Townsend from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica. All three were reared from wild-caught Zygaenidae and Lacturidae caterpillars. We provide a concise description of each species using morphology, life history and molecular data, with photographic documentation. The new species are authored and described by Fleming and Wood: Ametadoria karolramosae sp. nov., Ametadoria leticiamartinezae sp. nov., and Ametadoria mauriciogurdiani sp. nov. The following are proposed by Wood as new synonyms of Ametadoria Townsend: Adidyma Townsend syn. nov., and Abolodoria Townsend syn. nov. The following new combinations occur as a result of these new synonymies: Ametadoria abdominalis (Townsend) comb. nov., Ametadoria austrina (Coquillett) comb. nov., Ametadoria humilis (Wulp) comb. nov., Ametadoria misella (Wulp) comb. nov. Ametadoria adversa (Townsend) is proposed as a junior synonym of Ametadoria unispinosa Townsend, syn. nov.
Background We describe nine new species in the genus Uramya Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. All species were reared from an ongoing inventory of wild-caught caterpillars spanning a variety of families (Lepidoptera: Erebidae; Limacodidae; Megalopygidae; Lasiocampidae and Dalceridae). Our study provides a concise description of each new species using morphology, life history, molecular data, and photographic documentation. In addition to the new species the authors provide a redescription the previously described Uramya sibinivora Guimaraes, which was also collected within ACG during this study. We also provide a redescription of the genus, and a revised key to species of Uramya occurring in Central and South America. New information The following nine new species of Uramya, all authored by Fleming & Wood, are described:Uramya albosetulosa Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya constricta Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya contraria Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya infracta Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya lativittata Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya lunula Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya nitida Fleming & Wood sp. nov., Uramya pannosa Fleming & Wood sp.nov., and Uramya penicillata Fleming & Wood sp.nov. The following are proposed by Wood as new synonyms of Uramya: Olinda Townsend, syn. nov. and Procleonice Townsend, syn. nov. The following new combination is proposed as a result of the new synonymies: Uramya brasiliensis Macquart, comb. nov. Procleonice prolixa Townsend is synonymized under Uramya brevicauda Curran, syn. nov.
Nine new species of Itaplectops Townsend (Diptera: Tachinidae) are described from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. All specimens have been reared from various species of ACG caterpillars in the families Limacodidae and Dalceridae. By combining morphological, photographic, and genetic barcode data we provide clear yet concise descriptions. The following nine new species are described in the genus Itaplectops: Itaplectops akselpalolai, Itaplectops anikenpalolae, Itaplectops argentifrons, Itaplectops aurifrons, Itaplectops ericpalolai, Itaplectops griseobasis, Itaplectops omissus, Itaplectops shellymcsweeneyae, Itaplectops tristanpalolai. We move Itaplectops to the tribe Uramyini from its original placement within the Blondeliini, and we discuss its systematic placement. We also provide a key differentiating the, genera of the tribe Uramyini as well as the known species of Itaplectops.
We describe three new species of Trigonospila Pokorny (Tachinidae: Blondeliini) from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. All were reared from various species of ACG caterpillars during an ongoing inventory of caterpillars, their food plants and their parasitoids in dry forest, rain forest and cloud forest. By coupling morphology, photographic documentation, life history and molecular data, we provide a clear and concise description of each species. All species published as new, are known to be previously undescribed as a result of careful study of the genus by DMW. This study builds on the current knowledge of the genus by adding three new species to the current 7 described in the New World. Trigonospila edwinbermudezi sp. n., Trigonospila uniformis sp. n., and Trigonospila josemariamoragai sp. n. are all authored and described as new by Fleming and Wood, with a key to their identification. The authors also offer a new record and description of the previously unknown male of Trigonospila panamensis (Townsend), reared from ACG caterpillars.
Habitat loss is silently leading numerous insects to extinction. Conservation efforts, however, have not been designed specifically to protect these organisms, despite their ecological and evolutionary significance. On the basis of species-host area equations, parameterized with data from the literature and interviews with botanical experts, I estimated the number of specialized plant-feeding insects (i.e., monophages) that live in 34 biodiversity hotspots and the number committed to extinction because of habitat loss. I estimated that 795,971-1,602,423 monophagous insect species live in biodiversity hotspots on 150,371 endemic plant species, which is 5.3-10.6 monophages per plant species. I calculated that 213,830-547,500 monophagous species are committed to extinction in biodiversity hotspots because of reduction of the geographic range size of their endemic hosts. I provided rankings of biodiversity hotspots on the basis of estimated richness of monophagous insects and on estimated number of extinctions of monophagous species. Extinction rates were predicted to be higher in biodiversity hotspots located along strong environmental gradients and on archipelagos, where high spatial turnover of monophagous species along the geographic distribution of their endemic plants is likely. The results strongly support the overall strategy of selecting priority conservation areas worldwide primarily on the basis of richness of endemic plants. To face the global decline of insect herbivores, one must expand the coverage of the network of protected areas and improve the richness of native plants on private lands. /// La pérdida de hábitat está conduciendo silenciosamente a numerosos insectos a la extinción. Sin embargo, los esfuerzos de conservación no han sido diseñados especificamente para proteger a esos organismos, no obstante su importancia ecológica y evolutiva. Sobre la base de ecuaciones de especies-área de hospedero, parametrizadas con datos de la literatura y entrevistas con botánicos expertos, estimé el número de insectos herbivoros especializados (i.e., monófagos) que viven en 34 hotspot de biodiversidad y el número destinado a la extinción debido a la pérdida de hábitat. Estimé que 795,971-1,602,423 especies de insectos monofagos viven en hotspot de biodiversidad sobre 150,371 especies déplantas endémicas, que significan 5.3 a 10.6 monófagospor especie de planta. Calculé que 213,830-547,500 especies monófagas están destinadas a la extinción en hotspot de biodiversidad debido a la reducción del área de distribución geográfica de sus hospederos endémicos. Proporciono una clasificación de hotspot de biodiversidad con base en la estimación de la riqueza de insectos monófagos y en la estimación del número de extinciones de especies monófagas. Se predijo que las de tasas de extinción serían más altas en sitios con gradientes ambientales marcados y en archipiélagos, donde es probable un alto recambio espacial de especies monófagas a lo largo de la distribución geográfica de sus plantas endémicas. Los resultados soportan firmemente la estrategia de seleccionar áreas prioritariaspara la conservación con base en la riqueza de plantas endémicas. Para enfrentar la declinación global de insectos herbivoros, se debe expandir la cobertura de la red de áreas protegidas y mejorar la riqueza de especies déplantas nativas en terrenos privados.
We describe a new species of Cordyligaster Macquart ( Diptera : Tachinidae ) from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. Cordyligaster capellii sp. n., is described and photographed. All specimens of C. capellii were reared from Syngamia florella (Stoll, 1781) ( Lepidoptera, Crambidae, Spilomelinae ), a leaf-rolling caterpillar collected in ACG rain forest. By coupling morphology, photographic documentation, life history and molecular data, we provide a clear and concise description of this new species. In addition the authors provide new distribution and host records for C. fuscipennis (Macquart) reared in ACG.
Invasive species threaten natural habitats worldwide, and active human management is required to prevent invasion, contain spread, or remediate ecosystems following habitat degradation. One powerful technology for invasive species management in sensitive habitats is biological control, the use of carefully selected upper-trophic-level organisms that utilize the exotic pest as a resource, thereby reducing it to less harmful densities. Many in the conservation biology community view this pest-management technology as a high-risk enterprise because of potential collateral damage to nontarget species. The potential benefits arising from successful biological programs are reduced pesticide use, significant pest suppression, and a return to ecological conditions similar to those observed before the arrival of the pest. Biological control as a pest-management strategy has limitations: some pest species may not be suitable targets for biological control because natural enemies may not be sufficiently host-specific and may pose a threat to nontarget organisms. In some instances, substantial effects on nontarget species have occurred because generalist natural enemies established as part of a biological control program heavily utilized other resources in addition to the target pest. To minimize nontarget impacts, regulations governing releases of natural enemies are becoming more stringent, as evidenced in New Zealand and Australia. Voluntary codes of good practice are being advocated by the Food and Agriculture Organization to promote wide adoption of safety measures, which, if followed, should result in the selection of agents with high levels of host and habitat fidelity. Biological control programs in support of conservation have traditionally targeted weed species that threaten natural areas. More recently, exotic arthropod pests that compete with native wildlife or damage native plants have become targets of conservation-oriented biological control programs. Extension of biological control to new targets of conservation importance, such as invasive aquatic invertebrates and pestiferous vertebrates, is warranted. In many instances, once prevention, containment, and eradication options have been exhausted or deemed infeasible, carefully orchestrated biological control programs against appropriately selected targets may be the only feasible way to control invasive species affecting communities under assault from exotic species.