News and Reviews

Pictorial Guide to Encarsia Species

A very clear and simple key to the 27 species of the whitefly parasitioid Encarsia occurring in North America was published in the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington (Vol. 98(1): 1-35, 1996). The easy-to-follow pictorial key was designed for "non-specialists" -- scientists with limited access to collections and literature -- but it still requires a basic knowledge of insect morphology. Accurate identification of most species also requires the use of slide mounted specimens and a compound microscope. It is suggested that specimens be reared individually from whiteflies, since it is important to be reasonably sure that the insect being keyed is from a whitefly and not a scale insect.

The excellent diagrams in the 12-page key are simplified and somewhat stylized illustrations of wasp bodies to portray basic information about color patterns, not to accurately reflect specific characters. In addition to the key, a separate diagnosis, list of hosts, and summary of distribution is provided for each species.

The document is available electronically in PDF format for Windows and Macintosh from:

Michael E. Schauff
USDA-ARS Systematic Entomology Lab
Building 046, BARC-WEST 10300
Baltimore Ave. Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

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