Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Sharkey


Parasitoid wasps are an important group of organisms in need of systematic revision. This dissertation examines the cosmopolitan parasitoid wasp genus Cremnops. It is a compilation of three projects and significantly advances the taxonomic foundation of the genus.

The New World species of the genus Cremnops are revised. Thirty-three species of Cremnops are treated; five are described as new, i.e., C. bertae sp. nov., C. cluttsis sp. nov., C. nymphius sp. nov., C. wileycoyotius sp. nov. and C. witkopegasus sp. nov. Six species are synonymized, i.e., Cremnops caribensis Berta 1998, is synonymized under C. guanicanus Wolcott 1924; C. nigrosternum (Morrison 1917) is synonymized under C. haematodes (Brullé 1846); C. punctatus Berta 1998, is synonymized under C. marshi Berta 1998; C. sharkei Berta 1998, is synonymized under C. montrealensis (Morrison 1917); C. turrialbae Berta de Fernandez 1998, is synonymized under C. ferrugineus (Cameron 1887); and C. misionensis Berta 1987, is synonymized under C. slossonae (Morrison 1917). Cremnops florissanticola is transferred to its original combination Bracon florissanticola Cockerell 1919, st. rev.

The species concept Cremnops desertor and its complicated taxonomic history are discussed. A phylogenetic distance tree, based on COI data, is used to help delimit species. The recognition of C. alterans Enderlein and C. malayensis Bhat is proposed.

I propose new combinations for five African species that are currently placed in Cremnops, i.e., C. atripennis Szépligeti 1914 and C. elegantissima Szépligeti 1908 are moved to Disophrys; C. borealis (Szépligeti 1914) and C. rubrigaster Masi 1944 are moved to Biroia; and C. pulchripennis Szépligeti 1905 is moved to and renamed Biroia neopulchipennis. These changes result in Disophrys atripennis (Szépligeti 1915) becoming a junior homonym, which is changed to Disophrys szatripennis. Additionally, two species are proposed as nomen dubia: C. rufitarsis Szépligeti 1913 and C. schubotzi Szépligeti 1915.

Included are a molecular phylogeny, a dichotomous key, links to distribution maps, an electronic interactive key, images of holotypes, and suggestions for further research.