Opius (Bellopius) Wharton, 1997

See the Opius and Opiinae pages for additional information.
Taxonomic History / Nomenclature
Bellopius Wharton, 1997: 27-28. Type species: Opius bellus Gahan, 1930 (original designation).

Bellopius is presently treated as a subgenus of Opius (Wharton 1997). The species placed here have been referred to as the Opius bellus species group and were discussed in some detail by Wharton (1983, 1988). Earlier (Fischer 1972), they were included in the genus Desmiostoma Foerster, but Wharton (1983) noted that the clypeus and labrum were quite different from the true Desmiostoma, which is a parasitoid of leaf-mining Agromyzidae. Wharton (1997) subsequently proposed the subgeneric name Bellopius for this group.

Occipital carina completely absent (Fig. 1). Labrum completely concealed by clypeus when mandibles closed (Figs 2, 3); outer surface of clypeus flat to evenly but weakly convex; ventral margin thin and weakly convex, sometimes produced medially as a weak tooth. First flagellomere longer than second. Propleuron always without oblique carina dorsad propleural flange. Notauli and midpit completely absent (Fig. 4). Postpectal carina absent. Hind tibia dorso-posteriorly without basal carina. Fore wing (Fig. 5) with second submarginal cell long; m-cu arising basad 2RS. Hind wing (Fig. 6) with RS distinct, represented by a pigmented crease, at least over basal half; m-cu is a short but distinctly pigmented crease, usually extending about half way to wing margin. Metasoma unsculptured beyond petiole. Ovipositor usually shorter than in Doryctobracon but longer than in many species of Utetes.
1. Opius bellus back of head ...
2.Opius bellus face.
3.Opius bellus face.
4. Opius bellus dorsal view ...
5.Opius bellus fore wing
6.Opius bellus hind wing.
Diagnosis and Relationships
Opius (Bellopius) is most easily recognized by the following combination of characters: occipital carina and notauli completely absent, clypeus completely concealing labrum, mandible without basal tooth, fore wing second submarginal cell elongate and widely separated from m-cu, and hind wing RS and m-cu present. Bellopius is defined as monophyletic on the basis of the combined loss of occipital carina and notauli.

The species of Bellopius that have been reared from tephritids (including bellus and hirtus) have a median carina present on the otherwise unsculptured propodeum. Other species in this subgenus lack the carina.

The posterior margin of the pronotum is elevated in the species of Bellopius similar to the condition in Doryctobracon, suggesting that the relationship between the two should be further explored. The occipital carina is completely absent in Doryctobracon as it is in Bellopius, but the fore wing venation differs. Bellopius is unrelated to Utetes as the species of Bellopius lack both the hind tibial carina and the posterior displacement of fore wing RS+M. It is similarly difficult to show a close relationship between Psyttalia and Bellopius mainly because of differences in the clypeus and hind wing venation.

All known species are Neotropical.

Chinajariyawong et al. provide an extensive list of opiine species and their tephritid hosts collected in Thailand and Malaysia during surveys conducted between 1986 and 1994 (Chinajariyawong et al. 2000). The specimens were primarily collected from various Bactrocera spp. and include Opius bellus Gahan. This latter record is in need of confirmation since this species is not known to occur outside the New World.

No referenced distribution records have been added to the database for this OTU.
Biology / Hosts
All known species have only been reared from tephritids. Two species, Opius (Bellopius) bellus Gahan and Opius (Bellopius) hirtus Fischer have been reared from medfly and from several species of Anastrepha. Other species, as yet unidentified and representing several undescribed species, have been reared from Blepharoneura (Condon et al. 2014).