Taxonomy and diagnostics of fruit fly infesting Opiine Braconids in Australia and the South Pacific

Carmichael, Amy Elizabeth (2009) Taxonomy and diagnostics of fruit fly infesting Opiine Braconids in Australia and the South Pacific. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Opiine wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opiinae) are parasitoids of dacine fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacinae), the primary horticultural pests of Australia and the South Pacific. Effective use of opiines for biological control of fruit flies is limited by poor taxonomy and identification difficulties. To overcome these problems, this thesis had two aims: (i) to carry out traditional taxonomic research on the fruit fly infesting opine braconids of Australia and the South Pacific; and (ii) to transfer the results of the taxonomic research into user friendly diagnostic tools. Curated wasp material was borrowed from all major Australian museum collections holding specimens. This was supplemented by a large body of material gathered as part of a major fruit fly project in Papua New Guinea: nearly 4000 specimens were examined and identified. Each wasp species was illustrated using traditional scientific drawings, full colour photomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. An electronic identification key was developed using Lucid software and diagnostic images were loaded on the web-based Pest and Diseases Image Library (PaDIL). A taxonomic synopsis and distribution and host records for each of the 15 species of dacine-parasitising opiine braconids found in the South Pacific is presented. Biosteres illusorius Fischer (1971) was formally transferred to the genus Fopius and a new species, Fopius ferrari Carmichael and Wharton (2005), was described. Other species dealt with were Diachasmimorpha hageni (Fullaway, 1952), D. kraussii (Fullaway, 1951), D. longicaudata (Ashmead, 1905), D. tryoni (Cameron, 1911), Fopius arisanus (Sonan, 1932), F. deeralensis (Fullaway, 1950), F. schlingeri Wharton (1999), Opius froggatti Fullaway (195), Psyttalia fijiensis (Fullaway, 1936), P. muesebecki (Fischer, 1963), P. novaguineensis (Szépliget, 1900i) and Utetes perkinsi (Fullaway, 1950). This taxonomic component of the thesis has been formally published in the scientific literature. An interactive diagnostics package (“OpiineID”) was developed, the centre of which is a Lucid based multi-access key. Because the diagnostics package is computer based, without the space limitations of the journal publication, there is no pictorial limit in OpiineID and so it is comprehensively illustrated with SEM photographs, full colour photographs, line drawings and fully rendered illustrations. The identification key is only one small component of OpiineID and the key is supported by fact sheets with morphological descriptions, host associations, geographical information and images. Each species contained within the OpiineID package has also been uploaded onto the PaDIL website ( Because the identification of fruit fly parasitoids is largely of concern to fruit fly workers, rather than braconid specialists, this thesis deals directly with an area of growing importance to many areas of pure and applied biology; the nexus between taxonomy and diagnostics. The Discussion chapter focuses on this area, particularly the opportunities offered by new communication and information tools as new ways delivering the outputs of taxonomic science.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

402 since deposited on 11 Feb 2010
40 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 30400
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Clarke, Anthony & Baker, Andrew
Keywords: Opiinae, Braconidae, Parasitoids, taxonomy, identification, diagnostics.
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2010 05:33
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:55

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page