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Siricidae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Siricoidea) of the Western Hemisphere
CJAI 21, July, 2012
doi: 10.3752/cjai.2012.21
Nathan M. Schiff, Henri Goulet, David R. Smith, Caroline Boudreault, A. Dan Wilson, and Brian E. Scheffler

1. Species excluded from the New World Siricidae.

Sirex juvencus Linnaeus, 1758 has been commonly accepted as an established species in North America (Benson 1943, 1945 and 1963; Smith 1979). However, the species is not established though it has been intercepted at many sea ports in the United States and Canada. The species is a well known traveler; it also was often intercepted in New Zealand (FRNZ, NZAC and PANZ), Australia, and the Philippines. The range of S. juvencus in the Old World is said to extend from Europe to Asia, but we have seen specimens only from Europe. The few specimens seen by us and labeled with this name in Asia are not S. juvencus. In the New World, this species is clearly segregated on ovipositor pits size (pits size similar to those seen at middle of lancet in S. nitidus, but pits only slightly smaller on basal annuli) and flagellum color pattern. The main hosts of S. juvencus are various species of Picea. These hosts do not occur around most ports in eastern North America where the species was intercepted.

A specimen from one interception in the United States was even described as a new species, S. hirsutus Kirby, 1882. Surprisingly, the male type (BMNH) is typical in all details with those of the European S. juvencus. Though this type specimen did not have a locality label, Kirby (1882: 380) believed that it was probably from “Georgia”. If so, there was no host for S. juvencus on the coast that that it could not have reproduced on so it could have become established. Sirex hirsutus is a NEW SYNONYM of the European S. juvencus.

Xeris spectrum has been commonly accepted as an established species in North America (Maa 1949, Ries 1951, Smith 1979, Schiff et al. 2006). However, it is not established, though it has been intercepted several times at various sea ports in the United States and New Zealand (specimens studied by us (FRNZ and USNM)). The range of X. spectrum extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts in at least boreal regions of Eurasia (Maa 1949). The Nearctic species consists of two species, X. caudatus and X. melancholicus, and adults are distinguished from those of the X. spectrum complex by color pattern in both sexes and pit development on the ovipositor.

2. A name for the European “S. cyaneus”.

The name S. cyaneus has long been used in Europe (Benson 1943) for a species presumed to be introduced from North America. The species does not match the North American S. cyaneus (see “Taxonomic notes” under Sirex cyaneus Fabricius). Based on the ovipositor character states, this species is close to S. nitidus and S. atricornis (see “Taxonomic notes” under S. nitidus) but does not match them or other Central European species of Sirex. Because the species is well represented in Central Europe and has been often intercepted at sea ports of North America and New Zealand, it is important to have a name for this species. We studied about 40 specimens from SDEI, FRNZ, PANZ and USNM. We tried to find a described species within the range of S. juvencus and S. noctilio that matches the species (which is, in fact, European, not North American) and found three: S. torvus M. Harris, 1779: 96 + plate 28 (figure 1 under Sirex), S. duplex Shuckard, 1837: 631, and S. leseleuci Tournier, 1890: 200. Sirex torvus is the oldest name for the European “S. cyaneus”.

For reasons mentioned above (“taxonomic notes” under S. cyaneus and S. nitidus) and the probable loss of the syntypes from the collection containing S. torvus (Evenhuis 1997) [ICZN 75(d) (4)], a neotype for S. torvus is required [ICZN 75(a), 75(d) (3)]. Even though the original illustration (Fig. D2.1) and description of the female are sufficiently diagnostic to distinguish the species from other species in Central Europe, S. torvus is extremely similar to the subarctic European S. atricornis and the North American S. nitidus. The neotype female, here designated, is deposited in SDEI [ICZN 75(d) (6)]. It is labeled as follows:

[ICZN article 75(d) (2)]. The neotype is perfect except for the broken off right flagellum. Its type locality is from Germany as entered above [ICZN 75(f)]. Because S. torvus females and males may be confused with two other Central European species of Sirex (S. juvencus and S. noctilio), they are distinguished from these briefly here to satisfy ICZN 75(b) (3). Females of S. torvus, including the neotype (Fig. D2.2, neotype), are distinguished from S. juvencus by their black antenna and long ovipositor sheath (M. Harris 1779), and from S. noctilio by their very long ovipositor sheath (length of sheath portion beyond apex of cornus as long as combined length of terga 9 and 10) (Chrystal 1928) [ICZN article 75(d) (1)].

The synonymy is as follows: