Taxonomy

Encarsia formosa

Encarsia formosa - mid tarsi 4-segmented.

Females are easily recognised by the following combination of characters:

  • mid tarsi 4-segmented
  • fore-wing uniformly hairy - without any evident bare patches
  • body with head and mesosoma (thorax) black, metasoma (abdomen) bright yellow
Encarsia formosa

Encarsia formosa - fore-wing is uniformly hairy.

E. formosa’s DNA has been sequenced for several different gene fragments, and these can be found on the Nucleotide, alphabet of life website with the following accession numbers: Mitochondrial: CO1: AY264337; Ribosomal:18S: AY918985; 5.8S and ITS1: AY615783; 28S: AY615760.

Polaszek et al (1992) included E. formosa in the complex of parasitoid wasps that attack the whitefly pest Bemisia tabaci.

Encarsia formosa

Encarsia formosa - black head and mesosoma, bright yellow metasoma.

Because of its more or less cosmopolitan distribution, E. formosa is included in identification keys to Encarsia species from Australia (Schmidt and Polaszek, 2007); China (Huang and Polaszek, 1998); Egypt (Polaszek et al 1999); Mexico (Myartseva and Evans, 2007) and U.S.A. (Schauff et al, 1996).

Synonym: Trichaporus formosus (Gahan).

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Glossary
Haemolymph

Fluid in the circulatory system of arthropods.

Olfactory

Sensory system for sense of smell.

Oviposition

Laying eggs using an organ called an ovipositor.

Thelytokous

Process by which female offspring are produced from unfertilised eggs.

Parasitoid 

Depends on another species for survival, and kills it in the process.