Boletín de la Sociedad Zoológica del Uruguay, 2022
Vol. 31 (2): e31.2.2
ISSN 2393-6940
The flat wasps Bethylidae are the largest family of
Chrysidoidea. Because of their undeniable ecological
contribution, these insects are also important due to their
potential use as biological controllers of Coleoptera and
Lepidoptera that act as agricultural pests. This is the first
study focused on the diversity of Bethylidae in Uruguay
and the attempt to get to know the Bethylidae fauna of this
country. They were collected from three environments,
natural field area (NFA), pasture system area (PSA),
integrated livestock production system with winter and
summer agriculture (IAAa and IAAb) near Castillos,
Rocha Department, Uruguay, between December 2014
and December 2016. A total of 682 bethylids were
collected, representing four subfamilies and 13 genera, of
which one subfamily (Scleroderminae) and eight genera
(Nothepyris, Plastanoxus, Cephalonomia, Allobethylus,
Aspidepyris, Chlorepyris, Laelius and Dracunesia) were
first registered for Uruguay.
Key words: flat wasps, Neotropical, parasitoid wasps,
South America
Composición genérica de Bethylidae (Hymenoptera,
Chrysidoidea) del Este del Uruguay. Las avispas
planas Bethylidae son la familia más grande de
Chrysidoidea. Por su innegable contribución ecológica,
estos insectos también son importantes por su potencial
uso como controladores biológicos de Coleoptera y
Lepidoptera que actúan como plagas agrícolas. Este es el
primer estudio centrado en la diversidad de Bethylidae en
Uruguay. En este estudio, en un intento de conocer la
fauna de Bethylidae de este país, se colectaron de tres
ambientes, área de campo natural (NFA), área del
sistema de pastos (PSA), sistema integrado de
producción ganadera con agricultura de invierno y verano
(IAAa e IAAb), cercanos a Castillos, Departamento de
Rocha, Uruguay, entre diciembre de 2014 y diciembre de
2016. Se recolectaron 682 betilidos, que representan
cuatro subfamilias y 13 géneros, de los cuales una
subfamilia (Scleroderminae) y ocho géneros (Nothepyris,
Plastanoxus, Cephalonomia, Allobethylus, Aspidepyris,
Chlorepyris, Laelius y Dracunesia) fueron registraron por
primera vez para Uruguay.
Palabras clave: avispas plana, avispas parasitoide,
Neotropical, Sudamerica.
Bethylidae (Hymenoptera, Chrysidoidea) are a
cosmopolitan and very diverse family of parasitoid
wasps, especially in tropical areas (Azevedo et al.,
2018). The family has about 3,000 species, belonging
to 100 genera in nine subfamilies (Azevedo et al., 2018;
Colombo et al., 2020). These wasps exhibit a
fascinating diversity in their parasitoid behavior, with a
great uniformity for their hosts: beetle larvae
Bol. Soc. Zool. Uruguay (2ª época). 2022. ISSN 2393-6940Vol. 31 (2): e31.2.2
1* 1 2* 1
Wilson J. Marques Jr. , Gustavo K. Campos , Wesley D. Colombo , Isabel D. C. C. Alencar ,
3 3 4 2
Nelson W. Perioto , Rogéria I. R. Lara , Enrique Castiglioni & Celso O. Azevedo
1Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Espírito Santo. Av. Vitória, 1729, 29040-780, Vitória,
ES, Brazil.
2Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas. Av. Fernando Ferrari, 514,
29075-910, Vitória, ES, Brazil.
3 Instituto Biológico, Laboratório de Sistemática e Bioecologia de Predadores e Parasitoides. Av. Bandeirantes,
2419, 14030-670, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
4 Universidad de la República, Centro Universitario Regional del Este. Ruta Nacional nº 9 intersección con
Ruta Nacional nº 15, Rocha, Uruguay.
*Corresponding authors:;
Fecha de recepción: 21 de enero de 2022
Fecha de aceptación: 26 de setiembre de 2022
MARQUES, W. Jr. et al.
(Coleoptera) are the hosts in Pristocerinae,
Scleroderminae, Mesitiinae and most Epyrinae, and
small moths (Lepidoptera) in Bethylinae and the
remaining Epyrinae (Evans, 1964; Gauld and Bolton,
1988; Gordh and Móczár, 1990; Azevedo et al., 2018).
Bethylidae could be of agricultural importance as
biocontrols and have already been used successfully in
limited cases for example Goniozus legneri Gordh
(Legner and Silveira-Guido, 1983) and Prorops nasuta
Waterston (Infante et al., 2005) for control of navel
orangeworm and coffee borer beetle, respectively.
Even though it is one of the most diverse lineages of
Chrysidoidea, few studies report the abundance and
richness of Bethylidae (Mugrabi et al., 2008). Studies
within the Neotropical Region are mostly from Brazil:
Azevedo (1991) for São Paulo; Azevedo (1996) for
Mato Grosso; Azevedo and Helmer (1999) for Brasília;
Azevedo et al. (2002) for Acre; Azevedo et al. (2006) for
several sites in Paraná, and Mugrabi et al. (2008) for
Espírito Santo. So, there exists an evident gap about
the bethylids in many regions of the Neotropics.
In Uruguay, the invertebrate diversity is much less
studied and known than the vertebrate fauna (Ghione
et al., 2008). However, some studies were performed
with Hymenoptera and a great diversity for these
groups was recorded (see Zolessi et al., 1989;
Castiglioni et al., 2017; Fernandes et al., 2019). The
country is subject to extreme loss of habitat. In just a
few decades, several regions of Uruguay have lost
their natural ecosystems to agriculture (Ghione et al.,
2008), and for this reason, studies focused on the local
fauna are important and necessary.
For Bethylidae, a total of three subfamilies, five
genera, and only seven species have been recorded
for Uruguay hitherto: Goniozus legneri (Gordh, 1982)
and Goniozus negrifemur (Ashmead, 1894)
(Bethylinae), Anisepyris proteus (Evans, 1966a),
Anisepyris durini (Barbosa and Azevedo, 2018) and
lautus (Evans, 1977) (Epyrinae),
Pseudisobrachium uruguayense (Oglobin, 1938) and
Dissomphalus connubialis (Evans, 1966b)
In this study, we evaluated the diversity and generic
composition of Bethylidae in three environments, NFA,
PSA, IAAa and IAAb. This is the first study focused on
the diversity of Bethylidae in Uruguay.
The specimens studied were collected in four
localities, near Castillos, Department of Rocha,
Uruguay, between December 2014 and December
2016, using Malaise traps. The studied environments
Fig. 1. Collection points in the municipality of Castillos, Rocha Department, Uruguay. A. natural field area (NFA) (blue); B. pasture
system area (PSA) (purple); C. integrated livestock production system with winter and summer agriculture (IAAa) (green); integrated
livestock production system with winter and summer agriculture (IAAb) (red).
Bol. Soc. Zool. Uruguay (2ª época). 2022. ISSN 2393-6940Vol. 31 (2): e31.2.2
3Bethylidae from Uruguay
Fig. 2. Abundance of Bethylidae genera collected by subfamily: A. Pristocerinae; B. Scleroderminae; C. Epyrinae; D. Bethylinae. The sites are represented by colors: natural field area
(NFA) in blue; pasture system area (PSA) in purple; C. integrated livestock production system with winter and summer agriculture (IAAa) in green); integrated livestock production system
with winter and summer agriculture (IAAb) in red. Important to note each graphic is limited by the maximum number of specimens collected.
Bol. Soc. Zool. Uruguay (2ª época). 2022. ISSN 2393-6940Vol. 31 (2): e31.2.2
MARQUES, W. Jr. et al.
were: a) natural field area (NFA), 34°05'01.07''S,
53°45'43.08''W, altitude 57m; b) pasture system area
(PSA), 34°05'26.08''S, 53°52'14.04''W, altitude 89m,
and c) integrated agriculture area (IAA),
34°02'33.07''S, 53°50'02.07''W, altitude 26m (between
December 2014 and December 2015 (IAAa) and
34°24'42.02''S, 54°08'10.05''W, altitude 18m (between
January and December 2016 (IAAb)) (Fig. 1) (for more
details see Fernandes et al., 2019).
The bethylids were identified to genus level under a
stereomicroscope using the taxonomic keys proposed
by Azevedo et al. (2018).
The genera composition of Bethylidae in each
environment was performed using rarefaction curves
using RStudio® (R Core Team, 2015) by the script
described by Rossi (2011) and the abundance analysis
was performed using Excel® (Microsoft, 2022). To
verify the quality of the sampling in IAA, the data were
analyzed using the number of individuals for each
sampled location. The map was prepared using the
free website SimpleMappr® (Shorthouse, David P.)
and the graphics of abundance and diversity were
edited using image edition software.
A total of 682 specimens of Bethylidae were
collected representing 13 genera (~13% of the genera
diversity of Bethylidae) and four subfamilies. Five
genera of Epyrinae were obtained: Anisepyris Kieffer,
1905 (135 specimens/~20% of total of Bethylidae
collected), Aspidepyris Evans (13/~2%), Chlorepyris
Kieffer (5/~0.7%), Laelius Ashmead (7/~1%) and
Kieffer (1/~0.1%); three of Pristocerinae:
Pseudisobrachium Kieffer (264/~39%), Dissomphalus
Ashmead (187/~ 27%) and Dracunesia Alencar &
Azevedo (11/~1%); four of Scleroderminae:
Cephalonomia Evans (15/~2%, Allobethylus, Kieffer
(1/~0.1%), Nothepyris Evans (1/~0.1%) and