Executive summary of the MRP on
“Systematic and biodiversity assessment of the superfamily Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera: Apocrita: Parasitica) of Malappuram District”
The materials for the study were collected from green pastures mainly with sweep nets and sucked in with aspirator. The specimens were then killed with ethyl acetate and preserved in 70% alcohol. For detailed identification, they were card mounted and studied. Identification of the specimen was done by running through the available key and confirmed by comparing with original descriptions and illustrations. Those specimens which were not found fitting in the key and not agreeing with descriptions and illustrations were described as new taxa.
Sorting, mounting, identification, description and drawings were done using Stereozoom Binocular microscope fitted with camera lucida. Drawings so obtained were enlarged.
The members of the Superfamily Chalcidoidea are abundant in the district with rich species diversity, though not included in detail in the present study. The different families and genera were identified using available keys and comparing with descriptons. Figures were drawn using camera lucida attached to Stereozoom microscope. Enlargement was done using Xerox machine and drawn on butter paper.
The following seven genera were identified and described under the family Eurytomidae.viz, Sycophila Walker, Eurytoma Illiger, Plutarchia Girault, Acantheurytoma Cameron, Systole Walker, Bruchophagus Ashmead, Risbecoma Subbha Rao. The genera Podagrion Spinola and Mangostigmus Boucek were identified and described from the family Torymidae. The family Eulophidae showed distribution of six genera in the district- Aprostocetus Westwood, Elasmus Westwood, Neogastericus Narendran, Neotrichoporoides Girault, Pediobius Walker, Tetrastichus Haliday.
Systole Walker and Risbecoma Subbha Rao are exclusively phytophagous genera. Entamophagous torimids are parasitic on cocoons of butterflies, wasps, moths, flies etc. Severalphytophagous species are associated with seeds and plant galls.
A total of fifteen genera belonging to three different families were identified and described. Most of the collections were from agricultural areas, majority being parasitoids of many crop pests. So these could be propagated for biological control of agricultural pests.
Principal Investigator : Dr. K. Fousi
Associate Professor of Zoology