Sternaulopius Fischer, 1965
The genus Sternaulopius was described by Fischer (1965) to accomodate species with two “sternauli” on each side of the mesopleuron (the true sternaulus is ventral to the other groove, now know as the precoxal sulcus). Normally, only a single groove (the precoxal sulcus) is present in braconid wasps, or the groove is completely lost. The species of Sternaulopius are thus distinctive, though their placement in the classification of the Opiinae is still unsettled (Wharton 2006). In overall appearance (body shape, size, and fore wing venation), they somewhat resemble species in the genus Utetes, and are occasionally reared from the same host fruits. The species of Sternaulopius, however, lack the sharp carina on the base of the inner side of the hind tibia that characterizes members of the genus Utetes.
Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Sternaulopius Fischer, 1965: 309-311. Type species: Sternaulopius bisternaulicus Fischer, 1965 (monobasic and original designation).
Type locality of type species: Rutshuru, Congo; holotype female in Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika, Tervuren.
Diagnosis and Relationships
Sternaulopius is defined on the basis of the presence of both a sternaulus and a precoxal sulcus on the mesopleuron. In overall appearance (body shape, size, and fore wing venation), members of the genus Sternaulopius somewhat resemble species in the genus Utetes, and are occasionally reared from the same host fruits. The species of Sternaulopius, however, lack the sharp carina on the base of the inner side of the hind tibia that characterizes members of the genus Utetes.
The images here are from Wharton (2006).
1. Sternaulopius bisternaulicus ... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus head ↴
2. Sternaulopius bister... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus mesosoma and metasoma ↴
3. Sternaulopius bisternaulicus mand... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus mandible ↴
4. Sternaulopius bisternaulicus meso... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus mesoscutum ↴
5. Sternaulopius bisternaulicus ovip... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus ovipositor and sheath ↴
6. Sternaulopius bisternaulicus meso... Sternaulopius bisternaulicus mesopleuron ↴
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
We have reared Sternaulopius bisternaulicus Fischer from a variety of fruits infested by Ceratitis and Trirhithrum (Tephritidae) in both Cameroon and Kenya (Wharton 2006). Aside from these rearing records, there are no further details known of the biology of any of the species.