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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 the Chalcidoidea of the Czech & Slovak Republics

Palearctic Area


(Derived from Ashmead, 1904, Nikolskaya, 1952, Peck et al., 1964 & Thomson, 1876 by E. F. Legner)


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[This key is in a form commonly used in North America.  If the statement is true, proceed

to the designated couplet, whereas if it is false, go to "b" portion of the couplet.  Numbers in

parentheses refer to previous couplet read]


     (Note:  Not all illustrations are European species):




1a.    Only vein of wing ending at front margin as stigmal-like enlargement (prestigma); legs with one trochanter;  antennae with 12 segments, without differentiated club or ring segments, attached near mouth    male .......... Bethylidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



1b.    Wing venation different from previous; if vein enlarged near margin, antennal segment fewer or ring segments developed; legs usually clearly with 2 trochanters.



2a (1).    Abdomen with long, 2-segmented petiole; wing reticulately alveolate, petiolate, with long  marginal fringe, venation reduced; pronotum reaches tegulae ......... Mymarommatidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



2b.    Petiole of abdomen with one segment or indistinct, hidden; wing not as above; pronotum does not reach tegulae, separated by usually triangular prepectus (except Perilampus and Eucharitidae



3a (2).    Tarsi with only 3 segments; antennae short, at most with 2 funicular segments; body usually ca. 0.5 mm. long; postmarginal vein absent; wing disc often with hairs in radiating rows ......... Trichogrammatidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniiles>



3b.    Tarsi with 4-5 segments; other characteristics different from previous



4a (3).    Antennae attached far from each other, long, without ring segments, male filiform, female with  ovoid club; frons with transverse suture above antennae extending along inner eye margin; base of wings often  narrowed & petiolate, margin frequently with long fringe; body usually shorter than 1 mm, not metallic ........ Mymaridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



4b.    Antennae usually attached near each other (except some encyrtids), nearer to each other than to eyes, often short, usually with one to several ring segments; head always without distinct transverse suture above antennae; wings not petiolate, fringe usually short



5a (4).    Hind coxa huge, triangular, unusually disk-like and flattened; wings extend beyond sessile abdomen, wedge-shaped or almost parallel-sided; antennae at most with 10 segments, usually branched in male; female funicle with 3 segments; tarsi with 4 or 5 segments; body mostly steel-black or with yellowish markings ........... Elasmidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



5b.    Hind coxa never unusually disk-like or flattened; other characters also different from previous.



6a (5).    Hind femur much enlarged, ventrally toothed; hind tibia arched; body medium to large, heavily sclerotized, mainly without metallic hue



6b.    Hind femur normal, only very seldom enlarged and dentate in which case the body is slim, metallic and the hind tibia is straight (curved only in Podagrion



7a (6).    Wings longitudinally folded as in wasps; ovipositor long, curved dorsally along abdomen; tegulae narrowly extended forward; body with black and yellow stripes .......... Leucospidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



7b.    Wings not folded; ovipositor not prominent in European species; tegulae scale-like, not produced; abdomen always without yellow markings ......... Chalcididae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



8a (6).    Antennae not geniculate (= elbowed), without differentiated ring segments or club; head small; pronotum dorsally hidden, laterally fused with prepectus; thorax short and high; scutellum sometimes forked;abdomen high, rudder-shaped, petiole slim ......... Eucharitidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



8b.    Antennae clearly geniculate; pronotum larger, prepectus usually well defined.



9a (8).    Body shorter than one mm., dorsally flattened, shining black; scutellum transversely ribbonlike; propodeum in middle with shining triangular area; antennae with 2-4 ring segments and long, undivided club but without funicle  ........... Signiphoridae  (= Thysanidae]   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



9b.    Body not as previous; propodeum never with triangular, flat area; scutellum only rarely strongly transverse; antennae usually differently shaped than previous



10a (9).  Hind coxa usually at least 3X larger than front; pronotum large; parapsidal grooves complete; postmarginal vein developed; radius usually short, often capitate; antennae with 13 segments (in European insects)



10b.    Hind coxa only a little larger than front; other characteristics partially different from previous.



11a (10).    Thorax rather densely punctate, interstices reticulate or rugulose, faintly shining; parapsidal grooves somewhat deep; abdomen shining, finely sculptured, sometimes shrunken; ovipositor often long; body somewhat slim ......... Torymidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



11b.    Thorax shining, sparsely punctate, weakly and transversely rugulose; parapsidal grooves shallow; abdomen often coarsely sculptured, in male often pitted, in female conical with epipygium long but ovipositor short, hidden; body robust; antennae very short ........ Ormyridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



12a (10).    Pronotum dorsally rectangular, large; body usually not metallic, black, sometimes marked with yellow; parapsidal grooves complete; abdomen convex, not shrunken; postmarginal, marginal and radial veins developed; thorax often coarsely punctate ..........  Eurytomidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



12b.    Pronotum narrowed dorsally, at least in middle, or body distinctly metallic and thorax then abdomen often shrunken



13a (12).    Body about one mm. or less in length, not metallic; antennae at most with 8 evident segments (except ring segments), short; marginal vein long; radial and postmarginal veins indistinct, reduced; parapsidal grooves complete; abdomen broadly sessile; tarsi mostly with 5 segments, rarely 4 segments ........ Aphelinidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



13b.    Body with other characteristics; postmarginal or radial vein, or body, distinctly developed.



14a (13).    Tarsi with 4 segments; antennae at most with 9 distinct segments; veins distinct but postmarginal sometimes reduced or absent; front tibial spur short, straight .........  Eulophidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



14b.    Tarsi with 5 segments, rarely 4; if 4, then antennae have at least 11 segments (Tetracampinae) or marginal, postmarginal and radial veins indistinct (Arrhenophagus); front tibia usually with a distinctly bent spur



15a (14).    Mesoscutum entirely and regularly convex or flat, without impressed grooves (rarely linear parapsidal grooves indicated); scuto-scutellar suture mostly straight; axillae transverse, usually forming uniform arch with scutellum; mesopleuron convex, not impressed; middle basitarsus enlarged, middle spur long; antennae without ring segments (or if with some, then funicle lacking) ......... Encyrtidae   <Adults-1> & <Adults-2>; & <Juveniles>



15b.    Mesoscutum not regularly convex, parapsidal grooves at least anteriorly impressed or otherwise formed; axillae usually sloping backwards; antennae with ring segments; if mesoscutum and mesopleuron convex, then antennae with one ring segment



16a (15).    Mesopleuron in female convex (as in Encyrtidae), not impressed; similarly, middle basitarsus and tibial spur enlarged; mesonotum often impressed; scuto-scutellar suture in female straight, allowing movement of dorsal sclerites; antennae always with one ring segment and 7 funicular segments; male with parapsidal grooves deep, complete and pleuron usually shallowly impressed ........... Eupelmidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



16b.    Mesopleuron always impressed; mesoscutum with parapsidal grooves complete or merely anteriorly indicated, immobile against scutellum; scuto-scutellar suture not straight; middle tibial spur small; antennae often with 2 or more ring segments



17a (16).    Thorax high and short, dorsally either coarsely punctate or finely striate, always without reticulate punctations; antennae short, with one ring segment and 7 transverse funicular segments; abdomen often transversely convex ......... Perilampidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



17b.    Thorax usually not high and short; if so, then mesoscutum and scutellum reticulate or antennae different



18a (17).    Pronotum large, bell-shaped, hind margin indistinct and closely joined to mesoscutum; parapsidal grooves complete; antennae with 11-12 segments; male tarsi often with 4 segments; front tibial spur small ......... Tetracampidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



18b.    Pronotum usually small, not bell-shaped, hind margin always evident; parapsidal grooves often incomplete;  tarsi always have 5 segments; front tibial spur distinct, bent ...........  Pteromalidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>  (for subfamilies go to couplet 19)


Subfamilies of Pteromalidae:  [Also See:  Additional Details]



19a.    Antennae without ring segments, with 8-10 segments (club as one), attached close to mouth;

     parapsidal grooves complete; usually not metallic insects; sculpture not reticulate



19b.    Antennae with one or more ring segments; if indistinct, then body metallic or other characteristics different from previous



20a (19).    Body entirely black, sometimes faintly metallic, somewhat set with coarse hairy punctures; abdomen petiolate; wings always developed  .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Spalangiinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



20b.    Body partly yellowish, always without deep punctures, usually smooth; abdomen subsessile; wings usually with tufts of stiff hairs and sometimes dwarfed; head often toothed near base of antennae ......... (Pteromalidae)  (Cerocephalinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



21a (19).    In females head and thorax at least partly yellowish, with sparse, regularly spaced, long bristles; wings usually dwarfed; male antennae very long, with one ring segment and flagellum consisting of 10 subequal segments, club not differentiated; parapsidal grooves complete; basal tergite very large, convex .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Diparinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



21b.    Head and thorax usually metallic, not yellowish (except in 2 rare species from southern Europe) and without regular, sparse bristles apart from normal hairs; male antennae usually with club formed by several closely attached apical segments or at least ring segments present



22a (21).    Antennae unusually slim, with 13 segments (3 ring segments), radicula at least 2X as long as broad, antennal club in male not differentiated; boy shorter than 1.5 mm., shining, dark metallic, not reticulate; wings often dwarfed; female abdomen compressed at sides, high; ovipositor somewhat prominent .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Ceinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



22b.    Antennae shaped differently than previous; if long and slim, then thorax reticulate; club differentiated in male



23a (22).    Pronotum in middle at least as long as broad, much narrower than mesoscutum; antenna with one ring segment only; front femur somewhat enlarged; wing sometimes dwarfed, otherwise usually maculate; male antenna sometimes branched ........ (Pteromalidae)  (Cleonyminae), part   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



23b.    Pronotum either shorter or posteriorly not unusually narrower than mesothorax; ring segments usually at least 2 in number; male antennae never branched



24a (23).    Wings dwarfed; antennae always with 13 segments; head and thorax metallic green, reticulate; parapsidal grooves incomplete......... (Pteromalidae)  (Cleonyminae), part   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



24b.    Wings fully developed



25a (24).    Antennae at most with 12 segments, at least in females



25b.    Antennae with 13 segments, club counted always as 3



26a (25).    Antennae very long, with one ring and 7 long funicular segments, female with 12 and male with 13 segments; middle tarsus very long, in female with 4 segments; marginal vein about 4X as long as radius .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Cleonyminae), part   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



26b.    Antennae shorter than previous and other characteristics different



27a (26).    Parapsidal furrows incomplete; funicular segments transverse, 5 in number



27b.    Parapsidal furrows complete most .......... (Tridyminae)   [Small subfamily with only 3 species but Details unavailable]



28a (27).    Ring segments clearly 2 in number; head and thorax very densely, rather deeply, irregularly punctate ............. (Pteromalidae)  (Cleonyminae), part   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



28b.    Ring segments 3 in number, very short; antenna with 13 segments .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Pteromalinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



29a (25).    Parapsidal grooves complete



29b.    Parapsidal grooves incomplete, fading out at least in posterior 1/3rd of mesoscutum



30a (29).    Abdomen sessile or subsessile



30b.    Abdomen distinctly petiolate ........... (Pteromalidae)  most (Miscogasterinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



31a (30).    Antennae with one ring and 7 funicular segments; marginal vein usually several times as long as radius; males only



31b.    Antennae at most with 6 funicular segments; marginal vein usually rather short ........... (Pteromalidae)  (Tridyminae) part   )   [Small subfamily with only 3 species but Details unavailable]



32a (31).    Parapsidal grooves clearly cut, narrow; thorax usually densely hairy; mesopleuron shallowly impressed without different sculpture; radius only rarely somewhat capitate......males, family .......... Eupelmidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



32b.    Parapsidal furrows deep but broad; thorax nearly bare; radius strongly clavate, short .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Tridyminae) part   )   [Small subfamily with only 3 species but Details unavailable]



33a (29).    Abdomen distinctly petiolate ........... (Pteromalidae)  (most Miscogasterinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



33b.    Abdomen sessile



34a (33).    Axillae almost entirely anterior to base of scutellum; marginal vein very long, yet postmarginal and stigmal unusually short ........... (Pteromalidae)  (Coleotrechninae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



34b.    Axillae not unusually produced anteriorly; stigmal vein not extremely short



35a (34).    Pronotum bell-shaped, rather long; whole body (including eyes, wings and abdomen) densely hairy; antenna with one ring segment and 7 funicular, apical one in female projecting laterally along club .......... ((Pteromalidae)  (Cleonyminae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



35b.    Pronotum not as previous; whole body never densely hairy .......... (Pteromalidae)  (Pteromalinae)   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>





Ashmead, W. H.  1904.  Classification of the Chalcid Flies.  Mem. Carnegie Mus. 1:  225-551, Pittsburgh.


Nikolskaya, M. N.  1952.  Chalcids of the Fauna of the U.S.S.R.  Sci. Acad. U.S.S.R., Moskva & Leningrad.


Peck, O., Z. Boucek & A. Hoffer.  1964.  Keys to the Chalcidoidea of Czechoslovakia (Insecta: Hymenoptera).  Mem. Ent. Soc. Canada 34:  120 p.


Thomson, C. G.  1876-1878.  Hymenoptera Scandinaviae, Pteromalus 4, 5, Lund Publ.