Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Chalcid Flies, Chalcid Wasps.

Adults minute to small; (0.6–)1–4(–10) mm long. Insects associated with plant galls, or not associated with galls.

Head. Antennae geniculate.

Thorax. Pronotum more or less straight at the back; short, not extending back to the tegulae. The mesepisternum not enlarged to obscure the mesepimeron (and the mid-tibial spur rarely larger than the hind one). Cenchri absent. The wings marginally very long-fringed (sometimes?), or not long-fringed; wings folded longitudinally when at rest (Leucospidinae), or not folding longitudinally. Fore-wings without a pterostigma; with very reduced venation (reduced to a proximal submarginal vein, which becomes marginal distally before giving off the stigmal vein); combining greatly reduced venation with a conspicuous, blind-ending stigmal vein. Closed fore-wing cells 0. Submarginal cells 0. Discoidal cells 0. Hind-wings without closed cells. The hind coxae five to six times the size of the front ones. Fore tibiae with a curved spur. Hind femur toothed below (and enlarged); with a clear trochantellus. Hind femur with a row of teeth beneath. Hind tibiae nearly always conspicuously curved around the femora; without specialised spurs. Tarsi 5 segmented.

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction. Ovipositor of females visibly protruding; adapted for piercing.

Larvae. Larvae with segmented legs; (mainly or exclusively?) parasitic on hosts selected by the mother (especially on Diptera and Lepidoptera, but also other insect orders), or predacious (?); when associated with galls, parasitic on other gall occupants, or predacious on other gall occupants.

General comments. The hind femur enlarged, and toothed below.

British representation. Species in Britain about 6; Brachymeria, Chalcis, Haltichella, Spilochalcis.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Parasitica; Superfamily Chalcidoidea.

Illustrations. • Chalcis biguttata (Essex Chalcis: B. Ent. 472). • Chalcis biguttata (detail: B. Ent. 472). • Chalcis biguttata (dissections: B. Ent. 472). • Chalcis biguttata: B. Ent. 472, legend+text. • Chalcis biguttata: B. Ent. 472, text cont.. • Haltichella rufipes: as H. armata, Stephens 1846.

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Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.