Coptera Say

The genus Coptera Say (Figs. 1-4) contains several species that have confirmed host records for Tephritidae (Silvestri 1914, Nixon 1930, Muesebeck 1980, Sivinski et al. 1998, Yoder and Wharton 2002). It is possible that several of the species of Coptera are specific to Tephritidae.

See additional information under Coptera robustior and Coptera silvestrii

1.Coptera sp. fore wing
2. Coptera sp. lateral habitus...
3. Coptera sp. head: an...
4. Coptera sp. head: lat...
Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Most Coptera species were orginally described under Galesus Haliday, Schizogalesus Kieffer, or Psilus Panzer. Psilus, however, is still a valid genus (see Muesebeck 1980 for which Nearctic species are placed in Psilus and which ones are placed in Coptera).

Psilus and Coptera can be distinguished as follows:
Psilus: occipital carina abs; subcosta complete, though sometimes weak apically; forewing of female never incised.
Coptera: occipital carina present though sometimes poorly developed; subcosta incomplete; forewing of female (rarely male) deeply incised.

Coptera haywardi has been reported from Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil (De Santis 1967, Loiacono 1981, Sivinski et al. 1998, Aguiar-Menezes et al. 2003).
See biology/hosts section above for distribution of Nearctic species with host records.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Identification of Species and Subspecies
The key to New World genera published by Masner and Garcia (2002) separates Coptera from other diapriids. Nixon (1930), Risbec (1950,1954), and Yoder and Wharton (2002) provide descriptions of the African species of Coptera. Notton (2004) provides a catalogue of types of Diapriinae. Muesebeck (1980) discusses the separation of Psilus from Coptera, and provides descriptions of and keys to the Nearctic species of both genera. For the distinguishing morphological characteristics used by Muesebeck to separate the genera see the Diapriidae taxon page.
Biology / Hosts
Several species have been reared from Tephritidae, and some of the information is published under the name Psilus (e.g. Dresner 1954).

Distribution and host records (nearly all Tephritidae) for the species of Coptera from the Nearctic region, listed below, are taken from Muesebeck’s (1980).

Coptera cingulatae — New York (from Rhagoletis cingulata and R. fausta), Kansas (from R. suavis), Connecticut (from R. pomonella), Ontario, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Missouri.

Coptera evansi — Arizona, California (from Epochra canadensis), Washington (from Rhagoletis fausta), Arizona (from lab reared Rhagoletis sp. puparia), New Mexico (from lab reared R. completa and R. juglandis), Colorado, Texas.

Coptera occidentalis — California (from Rhagoletis completa), Oregon (from R. cingulata).

Coptera pholeomyiae — Louisiana (from Pholeomyia comans in a nest of Atta texana), Texas (from an ant nest).

Coptera pomonellae — Maine (from Rhagoletis pomonella), Connecticut (from Rhagoletis pomonella), New York (from Rhagoletis pomonella), Minnesota (from Rhagoletis pomonella), Kansas (from R. suavis), South Carolina.

Coptera punctiger — Texas (possibly from Drosophila), South Carolina, Michigan, Texas.

Coptera strauziae — Manitoba (from Strauzia longipennis puparia), Ottawa (from S. longipennis in Helianthus tuberosus), South Carolina.

Biology and Behavior
Known species are pupal endoparasitoids of cyclorrhaphous Diptera. Silvestri (1913, 1914) provides some details for the Afrotropical species Coptera silvestrii and C. robustior. More recently, the New World Coptera haywardi has been studied by Sivinski et al. (1998) (bionomics), Menezes et al. (1998) (development), Sivinski et al. (2000) (spatial and temporal distribution), Guillen et al. (2002) (affect of soil conditions), and Baeza-Larios et al. (2002) (importance of natural conditions for estimation of levels of parasitism).