Coccygidium? I hardly know 'em: A taxonomic revision of the genus Coccygidium throughout Australia.
Tareva-Chine C. Atkin-ZaldivarRoom 1: Cinema
Tareva-Chine C. Atkin-Zaldivar (The University of Adelaide); Erinn P. Fagan-Jeffries (The University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum).
Coccygidium is a genus of parasitoid wasps in the family Braconidae, that despite being recorded as present in Australia in a 2010 publication no Australian species have been described. Overseas, the genus is most notably being trialled as a biocontrol agent against the invasive crop pest fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)). As of 2020, fall armyworm has established in Australia, and species of Coccygidium have been reared from the pest. Coccygidium was also collected during the citizen science initiative Insect Investigators, where regional schools ran Malaise traps during March 2022. Using these specimens along with museum collections, and those from the rearing of fall armyworm, five species of Coccygidium were described using morphological data and CO1 DNA barcode molecular differentiation. Three of these species were collaboratively named by the schools that collected these specimens, and of these three species, two have also been reared for fall armyworm. These descriptions help add knowledge to hyper diverse Australian biota and show possible uses of targeted taxonomy for potential biological control agents.