Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Chalcid Wasps.

Adults minute; 0.5–1 mm long. Insects associated with plant galls, or not associated with galls (?).

Head. Antennae geniculate (?).

Thorax. Pronotum short, not extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. The wings marginally very long-fringed; wings 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. Fore tibiae with a straight spur. Hind femur not toothed below; with a clear trochantellus. Hind tibiae not curved around the femora; without specialised spurs. Tarsi 3 segmented.

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

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; parasitic on hosts selected by the mother (being egg parasites of small insects).

General comments. The hind femur sometimes enlarged, but not toothed below. The spur of the fore tibia is short and straight, and the basitarsus has the strigil characteristically modified into an oblique medial comb at the base, cf. Eulophidae.

British representation. Species in Britain about 30; Aphelinoidea, Brachista, Centrobia, Chaetostricha, Epoligosita, Lathromeris, Mirufens, Monorthochaeta, Oligoseta, Ophioneurus, Paracentrobia, Poropoea, Prestwichia, Trichogramma, Tumidiclava, Ufens, Xiphogramma (but with only Centrobia, Oligoseta and Trichogramma represented by more than one or two species).

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Parasitica; Superfamily Chalcidoidea.

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.’.