Sirex sinicus

Taxonomy

Family: Siricidae
Subfamily: Siricinae
Genus: Sirex Linnaeus, 1760
Species: Sirex sinicus Maa, 1949
Common names: none

Background

Sirex sinicus is a rare black species from China (Smith 1978).

Because the description of this species is from a single specimen, it is not clear whether S. sinicus is a valid species or if it is a subspecies or morph of a species in the same range (see S. nitobei and S. juvencus). More collections and analyses of Chinese Sirex are needed to resolve this group.

Diagnostic characteristics

See Sirex for genus-level diagnostic characteristics.

Sirex sinicus was described from a single male.

Male:

May be confused with

Male S. sinicus is similar in appearance to S. juvencus but can be distinguished by denser pits on the vertex. Sirex sinicus is also distinguished from S. nitobei by the darkened apical segment of the abdomen (Maa 1949).

Morphological and geographical variation

none recorded

Host associations

unknown

Life history

Female Sirex harbor symbiotic basidiomycete fungus in abdominal glands called mycangia. During oviposition, the site is inoculated with the fungus (Amylostereum spp.), which begins to decompose the surrounding wood. Larvae feed on the fungus, and in the process bore galleries through the wood (Schiff et al. 2012).

Larvae are creamy white and grub-like in appearance with a dark head capsule. As with adults, larvae possess a short dorsal horn on the posterior end of the body. The larvae bore galleries into wood, feeding until pupation and subsequent emergence. Throughout this process, the larvae use their horn to pack the tunnel behind them with sawdust. Emergence holes are perfectly circular. The fungal symbiont is carried in specialized organs in female larvae that develop into the mycangia after metamorphosis (Schiff et al. 2012).

The specific biology of S. sinicus is unknown.

Distribution

World: Sirex sinicus is recorded from Beijing in northern China (Maa 1949).

North America: not recorded

No specific locality data was available for mapping the range of this species at the time of publication.

Specimens of this species not available for imaging.