Turkish Journal of Zoology




The aim of the present study was to investigate species diversity and distribution of Aphelinus species in an elevational gradient in the Lagodekhi Reserve (Sakartvelo - Georgia) throughout a growing season. Two species of Aphelinus Dalman, 1820 (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), A. humilis Mercet and A. thomsoni Graham, are recorded for the first time from Georgia and the Caucasus and two species (A. lagodekhiensis sp. nov. and A. sugonjaevi sp. nov.) are described as new to science. To facilitate species identification we have developed a key to the females of all 24 species of Aphelinus currently known from the Middle East and the Caucasus. Both species richness and abundance of Aphelinus increased with increasing elevation, although no statistically significant relationship was found. Maximum diversity and abundance were observed in July, and this was more pronounced at higher elevations.

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