Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adults minute to small. Solitary insects.

Head. Antennal segments 10 (males), or 13 (females). Antennae inserted above the lower margins of the eyes (inserted high on the forwardly pointing face); geniculate.

Thorax. Pronotum short, not extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. Wings present, or absent (females, the sexes looking very dissimilar). Fore-wings with a conspicuous pterostigma; with the venation well developed (but reduced apically). Closed fore-wing cells 6–10. Hind-wings without closed cells. Fore femur dilated, or not noticeably dilated. Hind femur without a well defined trochantellus. Hind tibiae with spurs specialised for a cleaning rôle (?).

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction; long petiolate, or short-waisted (female). The ‘waist’ simple. Visible abdominal segments 7. Ovipositor of females not visibly protruding; modified as a retractable sting.

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; parasitic on hosts selected by the mother (perhaps ectoparasites, the hosts unknown?).

British representation. Species in Britain 2; Embolemus.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Aculeata; Superfamily Chrysidoidea (sometimes referred to the superfamily Bethyloidea).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

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.’.