The genus Aganaspis was described by Lin (1987) to accomodate four species known from Taiwan and Malaysia. Three additional tephritid parasitoids from the New World, Aganaspis nordlanderi Wharton, Aganaspis alujai Ovruski and Wharton, and Aganaspis pelleranoi (Brèthes) are now included in this genus (Wharton et al. 1998, Ovruski et al. 2007). The Neotropical species differ in several ways from the four Old World species, and thus the placement of pelleranoi, alujai and nordlanderi in Aganaspis decidedly broadens the limits of this genus. Once the eucoiline genera of the Neotropical region are studied in sufficient detail, either more species will be placed here or the New and Old World groups will have to be split into separate genera.
Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
The generic placement of the neotropical species of Aganaspis is somewhat controversial (Diaz et al. 2006) and in need of further study. Forshage (2009 dissertation, Uppsala University) has provisionally transferred several previously described neotropical species to Aganaspis and retains all the species treated here in Aganaspis.
No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
Four species of Aganaspis have been repeatedly reared both from isolated puparia of tephritids and from samples that produced only tephritids and no other Diptera, thus confirming their status as hosts. These include the Old World species A. daci and the New World species A. pelleranoi, A. nordlanderi, and A. alujai. There is at least one other unnamed species that has been reared from and collected on walnuts in the southwestern U. S. (Texas and New Mexico) and in Mexico. The only published record for this species (or group of species) is by Legner and Goeden (1987), which was written prior to the description of Aganaspis by Lin. These undescribed eucoilines attack walnut husk flies (Rhagoletis completa Cresson) and examination of specimens suggests that they belong to the same genus as nordlanderi and pelleranoi. Legner and Goeden (1987) published on rates of parasitism for this particular species based on collections from southwestern USA.
Biology and Behavior
Aganaspis daci and A. pelleranoi are the most frequently studied eucoiline parasitoids of tephritids for which biological information other than host records has been published (Ovruski 1994a,1994b; Ovruski and Aluja 2002; Guimaraes and Zucchi 2004). Additionally, Legner and Goeden (1987) published on rates of parasitism for the species attacking walnut husk flies in southwestern USA. As noted in the above section, this species should be placed in Aganaspis since it is closely related to pelleranoi and nordlanderi. More recently, Ovruski et al. (2007) published on the biology of another species, Aganaspis alujai, that attacks Rhagoletis infesting walnuts in Mexico.
Aganaspis daci and A. pelleranoi have both been used in biological control.