Psyttalia lounsburyi (Silvestri, 1913)

Original description: Opius lounsburyi Silvestri, 1913.
1. P. lounsburyi thora...
2. P. lounsburyi face: anterior...
3. P. lounsburyi face: an...
4. P. lounsburyi habitus: later...
5. P. lounsburyi abdomen:...
6. P. lounsburyi abdomen: lateral...
Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Originally described in the genus Opius, and later placed by Fischer (1987) in the subgenus Psyttalia. Psyttalia was subsequently elevated to generic rank by Wharton (1987). The combination Psyttalia lounsburyi (Silvestri, 1913) dates from Wharton (1987) and Wharton (1988), who transferred all members of the concolor species group (as defined by Wharton and Gilstrap 1983) to Psyttalia. Wharton (2009) discussed species-group placement of this and other African species of Psyttalia. Molecular work on this species was done by Bon (2008).
Diagnosis and Relationships
Wharton (1997) included this species in Psyttalia, but did not assign it to a particular species group.
Originally described from Transvaal in South Africa; subsequently collected in Kenya (Copeland et al. 2004).
Identification of Species and Subspecies
Psyttalia lounsburyi is similar in size to Psyttalia concolor, another parasitoid of olive fly. As indicated in the figures above, however, P. lounsburyi has black markings on the thorax and propodeum. Psyttalia concolor is pale yellow to orange in coloration. The ovipositor of P. lounsburyi is also slightly shorter than that of P. concolor.
Biology / Hosts
Psyttalia lounsburyi has been reared from field-collected olives, where the only confirmed host has been Bactrocera oleae (Rossi). No other wild or cultivated host plants are known.
Biology and Behavior
Unpublished work by Samira Mohamed suggests that this species oviposits primarily in third instar larvae. Some biological information has recently been published by Daane et al. (2008) as part of the biological control introductions to California to combat olive fly.
Biology - Host Range Testing
Can develop successfully on medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), in the laboratory. Cultured under quarantine conditions in California (2004/2005) as part of an olive fly biological control program.
Biological Control
Released in California against olive fly, with limited within-season recoveries (Kuslitzky et al. 2011).