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

A Public Service on the basics of Insect Identification

 

 

Keys to the Families of Chalcidoidea of India &

Adjacent Oriental Area

(Email Contacts)

 

(Derived from Subba-Rao & Hayat, 1985 by E. F. Legner)

 

Chalcidoidea in India and adjacent areas may be recognized by a reduced venation of the wings, with one having enclosed cells; the pronotum does not reach the tegula and the presence of the prepectus or postspiracular sclerite which is at times very small or fused with the pronotum, between the pronotum and the tegula (Subba-Rao & Hayat 1985). The number of recognized families was reported to vary from 11 to 24. Subba-Rao & Hayat (1985) followed Graham (1969) to recognize 18 families excluding Agaonidae.

 

[Please refer to <Guide> for illustrations or <Expanded Key>]

 

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1a. Tarsi with 3 segments; antennae short, in female almost with 2 funicule (= antennal segments between the scape and club) (excluding ring-like segments); postmarginal vein in fore wing generally absent; discal setae often arranged in longitudinal lines; abdomen sessile and broadly attached to thorax; species generally smaller, <1 mm. long; parasitic in eggs of other insects .......... Trichogrammatidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniiles>

 

2

1b. Tarsi with 4-5 segments, or 3 pairs differing in number of segments, or species short-winged and associated with figs

 

3

2a. Tarsi with 4 segments

 

8

2b. Tarsi with 5 segments or 3 pairs differing in number of segments, or species associated with figs

 

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3a. Head with antennal sockets much nearer to eyes than to each other and frons with a transverse groove above antennal sockets; hind wing basally like a stalk; marginal fringe of wings usually very long; stigmal vein rudimentary; wings and legs long and slender; body generally nonmetallic; parasitic in eggs of insects ............. Mymaridae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

4

3b. Antennal sockets nearer to each other than to eyes or transverse ridge or groove above sockets absent; other characters mostly different

 

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4a. Mesopleuron large, undivided; middle coxa, with the thorax in profile, nearer to the fore coxa than the hind coxa; marginal vein usually short or pitted; marginal fringe very long, or antenna consists of a scape, pedicel, 2-3 ringlike funicle segments and a long, unsegmented clava; species small, <1 mm. long ......... Encyrtidae <Habits>; <Adults-1> & <Adults-2>; & <Juveniles>

 

5

4b. Mesopleuron either not large and with a femoral groove, or marginal vein much longer than broad; marginal fringe short; antenna different and species larger than previous (4a)

 

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5a. Antenna funicle with 6 segments; fore wing without speculum (= an area running obliquely from parastigma to the hind margin) (parastigma = short broadened part at the junction of the submarginal and marginal veins) .......... Tetracampidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

6

5b. Antenna funicle with less than 6 segments; fore wing with a speculum or hind coxa enlarged and compressed

 

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6a. Hind coxa much enlarged, compressed and disc-like; hind tibia often with long bristles forming various configurations and with 2 long spurs; antenna with 3 funicle segments and a conspicuous ring-like segment, in male usually branching; fore wing long and narrow; marginal vein very long; prescutal suture lines incomplete ........... Elasmidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

7

6b. Hind coxa not large and compressed, if appearing so, then other characters different from previous (6a); hind tibia at most with long bristles on dorsal margin which do not form a pattern

 

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7a. Abdomen constricted at its junction with the propodeum; mesopostphragma (= invagination) not projecting into abdomen; stigmal vein forming at least an angle of ca. 35 with anterior margin of wing; body at least partially metallic, or scutellum with a pair of impressed submedian longitudinal lines .......... Eulophidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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7b. Abdomen subsessile, broadly attached with the propodeum; petiole decidedly transverse (= at right angles with longitudinal axis); mesopostphragma usually at least a little projecting into abdomen; stigmal vein forming an acute angle with anterior margin of wing; body not metallic; scutellum at most with a faint median longitudinal line ........... Aphelinidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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8a. Head with antennal sockets much nearer to the eyes than to each other and frons with a transverse ridge or groove above sockets; hind wing basally narrow and like a stalk; marginal fringe of wings usually very long; stigmal vein rudimentary; wings and legs long and slender; body generally not metallic; parasitic in eggs of insects .......... Mymaridae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

9

8b. Antennal sockets nearer to each other than to eyes or transverse ridge or groove above sockets absent; other characters mostly different than previous (8a)

 

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9a. Body mostly black and shiny, dorso-laterally flattened, in outline elliptic and without constriction between thorax and abdomen; scutellum in the form of a ribbon and the propodeum with a triangular impression; antenna with the clava long, curved, unsegmented; funicle absent, but with 1-4 ring-like segments; legs spiny ......... Signiphoridae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

10

9b. Body constricted between the propodeum and abdomen, or petiole distinct; scutellum not like a ribbon; propodeum without triangular impression

 

11

10a. Wingless or short-winged forms

 

15

10b. Long-winged forms

 

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11a. Species associated with figs; 3 pairs of tarsi often differing in number of segments; ocelli usually absent; body and appendages often irregular in structure ......... Agaonidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles> & Torymidae (Sycophaginae) <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

12

11b. Species not associated with figs

 

13

12a. Mesopleuron large, convex, and without a suture or femoral groove; basitarsus of middle tarsus with a double row of short, usually black, peg-like spines beneath

 

14

12b. Mesopleuron not large and usually with a femoral groove, or heavily sculptured; if mesopleuron appears as large as in previous (12a), then antenna with not more than 6 segments; basitarsus of middle leg without such thick spines beneath

 

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13a. Middle coxa, with the thorax in profile, inserted at or slightly in front of middle of mesopleuron .......... Encyrtidae <Habits>; <Adults-1> & <Adults-2>; & <Juveniles>

 

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13b. Middle coxa inserted at or near the hind end of mesopleuron .......... Eupelmidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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14a. Antenna with not more than 8 segments; pronotum shorter then mesoscutum .......... Aphelinidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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14b. Antenna with more than 9 segments, or pronotum longer than mesoscutum ........... Pteromalidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

16

15a. Mesopleuron large, convex, horizontal and without a femoral groove; middle tarsi with at least the basitarsus with a double row of short, thick, peg-like spines beneath

 

18

15b. Mesopleuron not large and convex and usually with a femoral groove, or heavily sculptured; if large and convex, then not longer than high, or basitarsus of middle leg without peg-like spines

 

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16a. Prepectus usually very large, very conspicuous when thorax is viewed from above; thorax short, stout; prescutal suture lines distinct, converging behind; gall forming species ............. Tanaostigmatidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

17

16b. Prepectus not large; prescutal suture lines rarely present

 

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17a. Middle coxa, with the thorax in profile, inserted at or slightly in front of middle of mesopleuron; marginal vein usually shorter or punctiform, sometimes absent; antenna with 1-7 funicle segments; prescutal suture lines if present are indicated by fine lines only and rarely complete ............ Encyrtidae <Habits>; <Adults-1> & <Adults-2>; & <Juveniles>

 

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17b. Middle coxa inserted at or near the hind end of mesopleuron; marginal vein usually much longer than stigmal vein; antenna with 7 funicular segments (5 in Neanastatus); mesoscutum with converging, shallow prescutal suture lines ........... Eupelmidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

19

18a. Prepectus fused with pronotum which is rigidly coadapted to the mesopleuron; thorax inprofile short and high; abdomen often with 1 or 2 tergites visible in dorsal view; prescutal sutures usually complete

 

20

18b. Prepectus not fused with pronotum; thorax not high; other characters same or different as previous (18a)

 

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19a. Head in front view somewhat triangular; antennal scape shorter than 1st segment of funicle; pronotum reduced and not visible when viewed from above; mandibles large and sickle-shaped (but rudimentary in Indosema); scutellum often with 2 horns or apically forked; abdomen petiolate, petiole sometimes very long; antenna in males often branched; species associated with ants ............ Eucharitidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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19b. Head not triangular; pronotum well-developed and visible when thorax is viewed from above; mandibles not sickle-shaped; petiole usually short and transverse; abdomen triangular in profile; antenna in male not branched ......... Perilampidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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20a. Body smooth and shiny, without conspicuous sculpture, only occasionally with some delicate punctures, not metallic, either yellow or black; head prognathous; mandibles in female somewhat serrate; females long-winged; stigmal vein almost 90 to marginal vein; front tibia very short; males wingless; associated with figs .......... Agaonidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

21

20b. Not having the previous (20a) characteristics

 

22

21a. Hind femur swollen and with teeth on ventral edge, or ventral edge lobed; thorax with coarse and usually dense hairy punctations; body often more than 3 mm. long, mostly not metallic, black or black with yellow or red; cerci reduced to low tubercles; prepectus small, fore wing a narrow plate near tegula

 

23

21b. Hind femur not swollen and with teeth or lobes, if so then thorax at most with net-like patterns; prepectus larger and extending ventrad

 

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22a. Tegula much longer than broad; fore wing folded longitudinally as in wasps; ovipositor exserted and turned backwards over the abdomen and often lying in a groove along the dorsum of abdomen; marginal vein of fore wing short, at most 3X as long as broad, not longer than stigmal; postmarginal vein very long; parasitoids of bees and solitary wasps ............ Leucospidae

 

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22b. Tegula relatively shorter than previous (22a), rarely more than 2.5 times as long as broad; ovipositor normal; marginal vein of fore wing longer than stigmal, postmarginal vein short or often rudimentary ............ Chalcididae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

24

23a. Hind coxa usually larger, ca. 3X or more as large as the front coxa; pronotum large; prescutal suture lines complete, though sometimes superficial; marginal vein very long and stigmal vein very short, often with a club-like projection; antenna with 13 segments; hind femur often swollen and with teeth

 

25

23b. Hind coxa not so large, or other characters different; if prescutal suture lines complete and stigmal vein short, then antenna with less than 13 segments

 

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24a. Abdomen heavily sclerotized, coarsely sculptured, often with large pits; thorax contrastingly shiny, without punctations, or these very sparse; prescutal suture lines shallow; cerci reduced to tubercles ......... Ormyridae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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24b. Abdomen not sclerotized and not heavily sculptured, often with very long ovipositor; prescutal suture lines complete and deep; cerci well developed and elongated ........... Torymidae

 

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25a. Hind coxa enlarged, flattened and disc-like; hind tibia with a row of long bristles on dorsal margin and with two apical spurs; fore wing with 1-3 long bristles on disc below submarginal vein; and antenna with 8 segments ......... Aphelinidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

26

25b. Hind coxa not enlarged and flattened; hind tibia without long bristles on dorsal margin; setation of fore wing usually different than previous (25a)

 

27

26a. Antenna with 3-9 segments; postmarginal vein usually absent or short, rarely as long as stigmal vein

 

28

26b. Antenna with 10-13 segments; postmarginal vein as long as or longer than stigmal, rarely otherwise

 

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27a. Abdomen sessile or subsessile, petiole transverse (= at right angles to longitudinal axis), often invisible; mesopostphragma at least slightly protruding into abdomen; marginal vein long, stigmal and postmarginal veins short; prescutal suture lines complete but shifted outwardly; if abdomen appears petiolate then stigmal and postmarginal veins well developed and parastigma with 2 or 2 very long bristles. ......... Aphelinidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

28

27b. Abdomen petiolate, the petiole clearly visible and often not transverse; mesopostphragma does not project into abdomen; venation different than previous (27a); if abdomen sessile then prescutal suture lines not shifted outwardly

 

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28a. Pronotum large and long or nearly quadrate, as broad as mesoscutum; prescutal suture lines complete; body not metallic (except in Chrysieda and Nikanoria); abdomen convex, mostly polished; thorax with hairy punctations; species mostly black, sometimes yellow or yellow with black and brown; antenna with 12 segments, if with 13 segments then having 1-3 ring-like segments ........... Eurytomidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

29

28b. Pronotum short, if long then thorax not punctate, often with metallic shine; antenna mostly different from previous (28a)

 

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29a. Discal pubescence of fore wing uniform and complete; postmarginal vein long; marginal vein at least 4X as long as the short stigmal vein; antenna at most with 12 segments; prescutal suture lines complete; males in some species have tarsi with 4 segments; not very common ......... Tetracampidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

30

29b. Discal pubescence usually absent in basal 1/3rd of fore wing, if otherwise then antenna with 13 segments and prescutal suture lines often incomplete

 

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30a. Antenna funicle with 7 segments, ring-like segment small; thorax generally densely hairy; prescutal suture lines complete, though often shallow ........... Eupelmidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

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30b. Not with the previous (30a) characteristics; if funicle of antenna with 7 segments, then femora of fore and hind legs at least slightly broadened; mesopleuron always with an oblique groove ........... Pteromalidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

 

REFERENCES:

 

Subba-Rao, B. R. & M. Hayat. 1988. The Chalcidoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of India and the Adjacent Countries, p. 169-310. In: B. R. Subba Rao & M. Hayat (eds.), Oriental Insects, Vol. 19. Association For The Study of Oriental. Insects, Gainesville, FL. 329 p.

 

Graham, M. W. R. de V. 1969. The Pteromalidae of northwestern Europe (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. Ent., Suppl. No. 16. 908 p.