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Revision of the Australian species of Pleistodontes (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae) fig-pollinating wasps and their host-plant associations

Authors

  • CARLOS LOPEZ-VAAMONDE,

    1. NERC Centre for Population Biology and Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
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    • Present address: Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, UK.

  • DALE J. DIXON,

    1. Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, PO Box 496, Palmerston 0831, Australia
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  • JAMES M. COOK,

    1. NERC Centre for Population Biology and Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
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  • JEAN-YVES RASPLUS

    Corresponding author
    1. INRA, Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations, Campus International de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
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Corresponding author. Jean-Yves Rasplus. E-mail: rasplus@ensam.inra.fr

Abstract

The Australian species of Pleistodontes, fig-pollinating wasps, are revised. In Australia, 14 species of Ficus belonging to the Urostigma sect. Malvanthera are known. From these Ficus, 17 species of Pleistodontes are recorded, of which seven are described as new. All type material has been examined and four new specific synonymies are proposed. One species, P. regalis Grandi, is resurrected from synonymy, while another, P. nitens (Girault) is redescribed. A key to females of Australian Pleistodontes is provided. All species are defined by means of full morphological descriptions, diagnosis, SEM photographs and drawings. Lectotypes are designated for nine species. The known distribution of each species is also given. Host plant (Ficus) associations are re-assessed in the light of this work and the recent revision of Australian Ficus sect. Malvanthera. In most cases there is a one-to-one relationship between Ficus and Pleistodontes species; however, three notable exceptions are discussed. Finally, our morphological study suggests strongly that the genus Pleistodontes includes some species that pollinate fig flowers actively and others that effect only passive pollination. © 2002 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2002, 136, 637−683.

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