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For educational purposes only; do not review, quote or abstract:--

A Public Service on the basics of Insect Identification



Key to Families / Subfamilies of Cynipoidea


(Derived primarily from Gauld & Bolton 1988)


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Please refer to <Guide> for illustrations




1a.  Largest segment of gaster (in lateral view) the 6th; radial cell of fore wing at least 9X as long as broad; female gaster very much laterally compressed, bladelike; length usually >10 mm .....  Ibaliidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



1b.  Largest segment of gaster (in lateral view) the 2nd or 3rd (Figs. 84-86); radial cell of fore wing much less than 9X as long as broad; female gaster less less compressed; length <10 mm



1c.    Petiolate abdomen that is attached above the bases of the hind coxae



2a.  Scutellum with a dorsal cup-shaped process; pronotum often very pronounced, produced frontodorsally into an anterior plate with a solid posterior margin .............   Cynipidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>    Eucoilinae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



2b.  Scutellum without cup-shaped process; pronotum if raised dorsally into an anterior plate then without a posterior margin, very often indistinct or absent



3a.  Winged; fore wing with Rs+M, when visible, arises from a point at or close to the junction of Rs&M with M+Cu1; female gaster often with tergite 3 the largest, although at times it is tergite 2; mesosoma at least partially sculptured; scutellum sometimes with an apical spine ......... Figitidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



3b.  Winged or wingless; fore wing with Rs+M when visible, arising from a point nearer the middle of Rs&M than to the junction of Rs&M with M+Cu1; gaster of female with largest tergite either the 2nd or the 2nd and 3rd fused (with or without an obsolete suture visible); entire mesosoma often smooth and shiny; scutellum never with an apical spine



4a.  Vertex (= top of head), mesonotum, scutellum, mesepisternum and gaster smooth and shiny; mid tibia often with only one spur, hind tibia with 1-2 unequal spurs; pronotum distinctly angled anteriorly, forming a vertical ridge; gaster with a ring of pubescence at base of tergite 2; male often with 4th, rarely 3rd or 3rd to 5th antennal segment notched ............ Cynipidae  <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>  (Charipinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



4b.  At least vertex, mesonotum, scutellum or gaster sculptured; mid and hind tibia each with two distinct spurs; pronotum generally not distinctly angled anteriorly but if a ridge is indicated then head and thorax heavily sculptured; gaster only rarely with pubescence at base of tergite 2; notched segment of male antenna, when present, always the 3rd ........ Cynipidae (Cynipinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



5a      These insects have a petiolate abdomen, which is attached above the bases of the hind coxae. Three are rare species about which few details are known.    Liopteridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>,  There were three subfamilies known as of 1993 (Ritchie (1993):  Liopterinae, Oberthuerellinae, and Mesocynipinae.  Oberthuerellinae has a noticeable spine on the underside of the metafemur; Liopterinae has the metasomal petiole elongated; and the petiole of the Mesocynipinae is shorter than wide.