Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Adults small to large. Insects associated with plant galls, or not associated with galls.

Head. Antennal segments 13–30 (or more, generally long and multi-segmented, the scape short and the pedicel relatively large). Antennae not geniculate.

Thorax. Pronotum long, extending back to the tegulae; vertically grooved to receive the fore femur. The spiracle cover lobe of the pronotum not margined with close fine hairs. Cenchri absent (generally), or present (if ‘piliferous lobes’ recorded on the anterior angles of the metanotum of some species are interpreted as cenchri). Wings present (usually), or absent (females, sometimes). Fore-wings with a conspicuous pterostigma; with the venation well developed (usually), or with very reduced venation; not combining greatly reduced venation with a conspicuous radial cell; always exhibiting the linking cross-vein ‘distal 2 m cu’ (with the exception of a very few species referred to this family rather than Braconidae on general facies). Hind-wings with closed cells; with the median cell elongated beyond the base of the marginal vein (see illustration of difference from Braconidae). Hind femur with a clear trochantellus. Hind tibiae without specialised spurs.

Abdomen. The abdomen usually with a marked basal constriction (but see illustration of Metopius); long petiolate (usually, fairly), or short-waisted. The gaster concolorous, or colour-patterned; attached low on the propodeum. Ovipositor of females visibly protruding; adapted for piercing.

Larvae. Larvae with segmented legs; parasitic on hosts selected by the mother (on larvae and pupae of endopterygote insects, immature and adult spiders and their egg sacs, etc.; including Agriotypus armatus, the only known parasite of Caddis larvae); when gall-associated, parasitic on other gall occupants.

General comments. Apterous forms of Braconidae and Ichneumonidae may be morphologically indistinguishable via family desriptions.

British representation. Species in Britain more than 1500; about 350 genera, with numerous species in Campodorus, Diadegma, Dusona, Campoplex, Gelis, Ichneumon, Lissonota, Mesochorus, Phaeogenes, Phygadeuon, etc.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Parasitica; Superfamily Ichneumonoidea.

Illustrations. • Euceros albitarsus Curtis: B. Ent. 660. • Euceros albitarsus Curtis: B. Ent. 660, legend+text. • Euceros albitarsus Curtis: B. Ent. 660, text cont.. • Triptognathus amatorius: B. Ent. 728. • Triptognathus amatorius: B. Ent. 728, legend+text. • Triptognathus amatorius: B. Ent. 728, text cont.. • Cryptus bellosus Curtis = Aritranis bellosa: B. Ent. 668. • Cryptus bellosus Curtis: B. Ent. 668, legend+text. • Cryptus bellosus Curtis: B. Ent. 668, text cont.. • Banchus farrani Curtis, = Banchus volutatorius: B. Ent. 588. • Banchus farrani Curtis: B. Ent. 588, legend+text. • Banchus farrani Curtis: B. Ent. 588, text cont.. • Mesoleptus waltoni Curtis = Sympherta fusicornis: B. Ent. 644. • Mesoleptus waltoni Curtis: B. Ent. 644, legend+text. • Mesoleptus waltoni Curtis: B. Ent. 644, text cont.. • Ophion ventricosus: B. Ent. 600. • Ophion ventricosus: B. Ent. 600, legend+text. • Ophion ventricosus: B. Ent. 600, text cont.. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624, legend+text. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624, text cont.. • Heteropelma amictum: B. Ent.736. • Heteropelma amictum: B. Ent.736, legend+text. • Heteropelma amictum: B. Ent.736, text cont.. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624, legend+text. • Pristomerus vulnerator: B. Ent. 624, text cont.. • Amblyjoppa proteus and host Deilephila elpenor imagines (photos). • Wings of Ichneumonidae and Braconidae: exemplifying different venation patterns. • Alomya debellator (Scotch Alomya: B. Ent. 120). • Alomya debellator (detail: B. Ent. 120). • Alomya debellator (dissections: B. Ent. 120). • Alomya debellator (B. Ent. 120, legend+text). • Alomya debellator (text, cont.: B. Ent. 120). • Agriotypus armatus Curtis (Spined Agriotypus: B. Ent. 389). • Agriotypus armatus (detail: B. Ent. 389). • Agriotypus armatus (dissections: B. Ent. 389). • Agriotypus armatus (original genus and species descriptions): B. Ent. 389, legend+text. • Agriotypus armatus: B. Ent. 389, text cont.. • Sphecophaga vesparum (Wasps' Ichneumon: B. Ent. 198). • Sphecophaga vesparum: B. Ent. 198, legend+text. • Sphecophaga vesparum: B. Ent. 198, text cont.. • Astiphromma sericans (Curtis): (B. Ent. 464). • Astiphromma sericans (B. Ent. 464, legend+text). • Astiphromma sericans (B. Ent. 464, text cont.). • Callajoppa exaltatoria (Death's Head Ichneumon: B. Ent. 234). • Callajoppa exaltatoria: B. Ent. 234, legend+text. • Callajoppa exaltatoria: B. Ent. 234, text cont.. • Cylloceria calligata, as Lampronota crenicornis Hal. mss. B. Ent. 407). • Cylloceria calligata. B. Ent. 407, legend+text. • Cylloceria calligata. B. Ent. 407, text cont.. • Pimpla aethiops Curtis (Whittlesea Pimpla: B. Ent. 214). • Pimpla aethiops Curtis: B. Ent. 214, legend+text. • Pimpla aethiops Curtis: B. Ent. 214, text cont.. • Hemiteles varitarsus (B. Ent. 399). • Hemiteles varitarsus: B. Ent. 399, legend+text. • Hemiteles varitarsus: B. Ent. 399, tex cont.. • Metopius dentatus (B. Ent. 004). • Metopius dentatus (details: B. Ent. 004). • Metopius dentatus (dissection details: B. Ent. 004). • Metopius dentatus (B. Ent. 004: legend+text). • Metopius dentatus (B. Ent. 004: text, cont.). • Xorides fuligator: B. Ent. 353. • Xorides fuligator: B. Ent. 353, legend+text. • Xorides fuligator: B. Ent. 353, text cont.. • Stilpnus dryadum Haliday in Curtis (B. Ent. 388). • Stilpnus dryadum (B. Ent. 388, legend+text). • Stilpnus dryadum (B. Ent. 388, text cont.). • Agrothereutes abbreviator (B. Ent. 536). • Agrothereutes abbreviator: B. Ent. 536, legend+text. • Agrothereutes abbreviator: B. Ent. 536, text cont.. • Arotes albicinctus, Ichneumon analis (female), Phytodietus polyzonias, Rhyssa persuasoria (male): Stephens, 1846.

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.’.