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Basic female morphology

Basic female morphology of Methocha

(modified from: Goulet H. & Hubert J.T., 1993 - Hymenoptera of the world. An identification guide to families. Agriculture Canada Research Branch, Monograph No. 1894E, 7+668 pp.)

(1) Antenna, (2) Labrum, (3) Mandible, (4) Palpi, (5) Palpi, (8) Leg
(taken from: Curtis J., 1824 - British Entomology. London, plate 329)

 

Methocha articulata (Latreille, 1792) - female

Methocha male and female
From: Saunders E., 1896 - The Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Islands.

Body slender and antlike, ranging from 3.5 to 9.0mm, with a modal length of about 6.0mm, a shining habitus, usually impunctate or microscopically punctured, with smooth and reflecting interspaces and sparse pubescence.

Head and metasoma black, mesosoma and legs reddish. Forehead convex. Eyes with reduced hair, ocelli present. Antennae composed by scape, pedicel and 10 flagellomeres (= F-I, F-II, etc.) 3-4 times as long as broad, except the first two, reddish in color, the last flagellomeres brownish.

Mesosoma (= the visible thorax, composed by the true thorax and the propodeum) red with three dorsal metameres delimited by two restrictions: prothorax (pronotum), mesothorax (mesoscutum + metascutum) and metathorax (metanotum + propodeum). Mesothorax convex, mesoscutum narrower than pronotum and propodeum; midcoxae completely uncovered; metathorax almost globose, propodeum red. Legs reddish to dark reddish in color and slender; femurs and tibiae elongated and sub-cylindrical; tibiae with only one apical spur; mid- and hindtibia spurs S-shaped, finely combed dorsally.

Metasoma (= the visible abdomen, apart from the propodeum) with six visible terga (= T-I, T-II, etc.), with a constriction between the first and the second tergum, better visible in sternal view.

 

Methocha latronum (Guichard, 1972) - female

Methocha latronum (Guichard, 1972)
Habitus of Methocha latronum (Guichard, 1972).

The species was established on four small females (3.75-5mm), with hirsute habitus, abundant white hair, overall abundant shallow punctuation; head and metasoma shining black, but, at least in some areas, with rugulosity; clypeus without any tubercle; antennae reddish with pedicel and apical 5-6 flagellomeres darker; mesosoma dull red with propodeal spiracles obscured by rugulosity.

In comparison to the original description (Guichard, 1972), the latronum female from Sardinia (Italy) shows a bigger size (6.5 mm) and a completely mat habitus, without shining reflections.

Compared to the articulata females, the Sardinian female is clearly opaque, with matte, sculptured and densely pubescent teguments; the punctuation on the head vertex (Figure 5h) shows an average diameter which is double, and it is denser: the single points are interspaced by sculptured areas, rather than the typical smooth ones. The pubescence on the head is longer and denser than in articulata, measuring in latronum up to 4.5 MOD.

The diameter of the punctures on the mesosoma is 1.6 to 2.5 times wider in latronum than in articulata, measuring in the former up to 1.0 MOD, with the pubescence up to 3.7 MOD. The pronotum of latronum (Figure 5e) shows a deep median depression, wide 1.8 MOD and long 3/4 of the pronotum length; except for the central mesothorax, the interspaces on the rest of the mesosoma are striped and irregularly grooved, not as smooth as in articulata. In both species the punctuation of the metasoma is finer than on the remainder of the body and the respective diameters are not significantly different (0.2-0.4 MOD); however, only few sparse points are visible in articulata and the metasoma appears nearly polished and glabrous, whereas in latronum (Figure 5i) the points per area are fairly denser, the associated pubescence is dense and long (up to 4.3 MOD) and the interspaces are finely striped with an irregular trend, both on terga and on sterna.

The first gastral tergum is black in articulata, partially reddish in latronum (reddish on the anterior tergal half, entirely reddish in sternal view). S-VI wider in latronum than in articulata.

Download Hi-res image of Methocha latronum.

 

Comparison between M. articulata (Latr.) and M. latronum (Guich.)

articulata (Latreille, 1792)
character
latronum (Guichard, 1972)
polished and shiny
habitus
sculptured and opaque
sparse and fine
punctuation
irregular, dense and coarse
sparse and short
pubescence
dense and long (up to 4.5 MOD)
smooth or with weak points
interspaces
striped and sculptured
present
tubercle on clypeus
absent
convex
pronotum
convex with a long median depression
visible
propodeal spiracles
obscured by rugulosity
entirely black
T-I
reddish in the anterior half
entirely black
S-I
entirely reddish
narrow
S-VI
wide

 

For citation purposes
Agnoli G.L., Chrysis.net website: Methocha, interim version 28-Jul-2011 , URL: http://www.chrysis.net/methocha/.