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New state record and northeastern range extension for Caenocholax fenyesi sensu lato (Strepsiptera: Myrmecolacidae).

The strepsipteran Caenocholax fenyesi Pierce sensu lato has been recorded from Mexico and the southern United States (Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) (Kathirithamby & Taylor 2005). Males of this species are endoparasites of ants (Kathirithamby et al. 2007), including the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Kathirithamby & Johnston 1992). The females of C. f. waloffi Kathirithamby & Johnston, in Mexico, stylopize Hapithus agitator Uhler (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Eneopterinae) (Kathirithamby & Johnston 2004), but the female host in the United States has not been found.

An adult male C. fenyesi was collected from a UV light/pan trap (UTM zone 17 610840mE 3632980mN NAD83) in suburban Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina on 29 Jul 2006 from yellow pan trap set on a lawn for 36 h, 15 m from a UV light trap. A second adult male of this species was collected at the same location from a UV light trap on 20 Aug 2006. These collections extend the range of this species to the northeast. It is unclear whether or not the South Carolina C. fenyesi are stylopizing S. invicta, but the range of this ant now includes South Carolina (USDA-ARS 2007), and fire ant mounds are abundant in the area where the strepsipteran was collected. This is the fifth genus and sixth species of Strepsiptera to be reported from South Carolina (Kathirithamby & Taylor 2005; Reeves & Cook 2005).


Caenocholax fenyesi Pierce sensu lato (Strepsiptera: Myrmecolacidae), a known parasite of Solenopsis invicta Buren 1972 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is reported for the first time from South Carolina based on the presence of adult males in pan trap and UV light collections in Jul and Aug 2006.


KATHIRITHAMBY, J., AND J. S. JOHNSTON. 1992. Stylopization of Solenopsis invicta Hymenoptera: Formicidae) by Caenocholax fenyesi (Strepsiptera: Myrmecolacidae) in Texas. Ann. Entomol. Soc. America 85: 293-297.

KATHIRITHAMBY, J., AND J. S. JOHNSTON. 2004. The discovery after 94 years of the elusive female of a myrmecolacid (Strepsiptera), and the cryptic species of Caenocholax fenyesi Pierce sensu lato. Proc. Royal Soc. London, B (3) 271: S5-S8.

KATHIRITHAMBY, J., AND S. J. TAYLOR. 2005. A new species of Halictophagus (Insecta: Strepsiptera: Halictophagidae) from Texas, and a checklist of Strepsiptera from the United States and Canada. Zootaxa 1056:1-18.

KATHIRITHAMBY, J., S. J. TAYLOR, E. VALENZUELA, J. GOMEZ, AND J. F. BERRERA. 2007. A light-trapped ant, Dolichoderus bispinosus (Formicidae) with evidence of stylopization by male Caenocholax fenyesi waloffi (Strepsiptera: Myrmecolacidae). Entomol. News (in press).

REEVES, W. K., AND J. L. COOK. 2005. First record of Triozocera vernalis Kifune and Brailovsky (Strepsiptera: Corioxenidae) from the United States, with additional records for Strepsiptera in South Carolina. Entomol. News 116:191-192.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE RESEARCH SERVICE [USDA-ARS]. 2007. Areawide Fire Ant Suppression <http://> (last modified 10 Jun 2007, accessed 11 Jun 2007).


(1) Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, United Kingdom

(2) Division of Biodiversity and Ecological Entomology, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 South Oak Street (MC-652), Champaign, IL 61820-6953

(3) 1393 Thayer Hall Dr., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466-9478
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Author:Kathirithamby, Jeyaraney; Taylor, Steven J.; Lareau, Richard
Publication:Florida Entomologist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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