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Please refer also to the following link for more details on this group:


                Cynipoidea = Link 1



          This group includes mostly small or tiny insects with a reduced wing venation . Most species are black, and the abdomen is usually shiny and compressed.  Included are 5 modern families and three extinct families. Species are often phytophagous, especially as gall-formers, but there are many parasitoids or hyperparasitoids. They are glossy, dark, smooth wasps with compressed bodies and reduced wing venation.  Metasomal segments may be fused in different ways, which is diagnostic for families or subfamilies.   The petiole is very short, when present.The antennae are filiform, the pronotum extends back to the tegulae, and the ovipositor issues from anterior to the apex of the abdomen.


          Except for the Cynipidae or "gall wasps" it is a little-studied group as a whole, though there are ca. 3,050 identified species.  Many of the Figitidae remain undescribed. Each of the constituent families differs in biology, with the Liopteridae being least studied.


         The superfamily is known principally through its predominantly phytophagous habit, which is very evident because of the formation of galls of great variety in size and form on the foliage and stems of many plants.  These numerous species comprise the family Cynipidae.  Parasitic representatives are found in the Figitidae and Ibaliidae.  Clausen (1940) separated figitids from the superfamily Charipinae, which are hyperparasitoids of Aphididae through Aphidius and other Aphidiinae.  He also noted that Charipinae and Eucoilinae were often given family rank.


          All parasitic members of Cynipoidea develop internally in the immature stages of their hosts.  The Ibaliidae are parasitic in the larvae of wood wasps of the genus Sirex, and the Figitidae in larvae of Diptera.




 Cynipidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

     (Charipinae) <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

     (Cynipinae) <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

     (Eucoilinae) <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

  Figitidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

  Ibaliidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

  Liopteridae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



References:   Please refer to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at:  MELVYL Library]


Andrews, F.G. 1978. Taxonomy and host specificity of Nearctic Alloxystinae with a catalog of the world species (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Occasional Papers in Entomology No. 25. State of California. Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry. Sacramento, California, USA. 128 pp.


Askew, R.R. 1984. The biology of gall wasps. Pages 223‑271 in Ananthakrishnan, T.N., ed. Biology of gall insects. Edward Arnold, London, England. 362 pp.


Buhr, H. 1964. Bestimmungstabellen der Gallen (Zoo‑ und Phytocecciden) an Pflanzen Mittel­und Nordeuropas. Fischer, Jena, Germany. 1572 pp.


Burks, B.D. 1979. Cynipoidea. Pages 1045‑1107 in Krombein, K.V., P.D. Hurd, Jr., D.R. Smith, and B.D. Burks, eds. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico, Vol. 1. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., USA. 1198 pp.


Dalla Torre, K.W., and J.J. Kieffer. 1910. Cynipidae. Das Tierreich 24:1‑‑891, + I‑XXXV. Berlin, Germany.


Eady, R.D., and J. Quinlan. 1963. Hymenoptera. Cynipoidea. Keys to families and subfamilies and Cynipinae (including galls). Handbooks for the identification of British insects, Vol. VIII, Part I(a). Royal Entomol. Soc. of London, London, England. 81 pp.


Fergusson, N.D.M. 1986. Charipidae, Ibaliidae & Figitidae. Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea. Handbooks for the identification of British insects, Vol. VIII, Part 1(c). Royal Entomol. Soc. of London, London, England. 55 pp.


Hedicke, H., and G.J. Kerrich. 1940. A revision of the Family Liopteridae (Hymenopt., Cynipoidea). Transactions of the Royal Entomol. Soc. of London 90:177‑225. Hellen, W. 1963. Die Alloxystinen Finnlands (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Fauna Fennica lS:1‑23.


Herard, F. 1986. Annotated list of the entomophagous complex associated with pear psylla, Psylla pyri (L.) (Hom.: Psyllidae) in France. Agronomie 6(1):1‑34.


Kerrich, G.J. 1973. On the taxonomy of some forms of Ibalia Latreille (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea) associated with conifers. Zoological J. of the Linnaean Soc. 53:65‑79.


Kinsey, A.C. 1930. The gall wasp genus Cynips. A study in the origin of species. Indiana University Studies, Vol. XVI, Nos. 84, 85, 86. 557 pp.


Kinsey, A.C. 1936. The origin of higher categories in Cynips. Indiana University Publications, Science Series No. 4:1‑334.


Maa, T. 1949. A revision of the Asiatic Ibaliidae. Treubia 20:263‑274.


Menke, A.S., and H.H. Evenhuis. 1991. North American Charipidae: key to genera, nomenclature, species checklists, and a new species of Dilyta Forster (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea). Proceedings of the Entomol. Soc. of Washington. 93:136‑158.


Nordlander, G. 1976. Studies on Eucoilidae (Hym., Cynipoidea). I. A revision of the north‑western European species of Cothonaspis Htg. with description of a new species and notes on some other genera. Entomologisk Tidskrift 97:65‑77.


Nordlander, G. 1978. Revision of the genus Rhoptromeris Forster, 1869 with reference to north‑western European species. Studies on Eucoilidae (Hym.: Cynipoidea). II. Entomologica Scandinavica 9:47‑‑62.


Nordlander, G. 1980. Revision of the genus Leptopilina Forster, 1869, with notes on the status of some other genera (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea: Eucoilidae). Entomologica Scandinavica 11:428‑453.


Nordlander, G. 1981. A review of the genus Ttybliographa Forster, 1869 (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea: Eucoilidae). Entomologica Scandinavica 12: 381‑402.


Nordlander, G. 1982a. Identities and relationships of the previously confused genera Odonteucoila, Coneucoela, and Trichoplasta (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea: Eucoilidae). Entomologica Scandinavica 13:269‑292.


Nordlander, G. 1982b. Systematics and phylogeny of an interrelated group of genera within the family Eucoilidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden. 34 pp.


Quinlan, J. 1967. The brachypterous genera and species of Eucoilidae (Hymenoptera), with descriptions and figures of some type species. Proceedings of the Royal Entomol. Soc. of London, Series B, Taxonomy 36:1‑10.


Quinlan, J. 1979. A revisionary classification of the Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera) of the Ethiopian zoogeographical region: Aspicerinae (Figitidae) and Oberthuerellinae (Liopteridae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomolo~y 39:85 ‑ 133.


Quinlan, J. 1986. A key to the Afro‑tropical genera of Eucoilidae (Hymenoptera), with a revision of certain genera. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 52(4):243‑366.


Quinlan, J., and H.H. Evenhuis. 1980. Status of the subfamily names Charipinae and Alloxystinae (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae). Systematic Entomology 5:427--430.


Riek, E.F. 1971. A new subfamily of cynipoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea) from Australia. Pages 107‑112 in Asahinas, S., J. Linsley Gressitt, Z. Hidaka, T. Nishida, and K. Nomura, eds. Entomol. essays to commemorate the retirement of Professor K. Yasumatsu. Hokuryukan Publishing, Tokyo, Japan. 389 pp.


Ritchie, A.J. 1984. A review of the higher classification of the inquiline gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) and a revision of the Nearctic species of Periclistus Foerster. Ph.D. thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. xiv + 368 pp.


Ronquist, F., and G. Nordlander. 1989. Skeletal morphology of an archaic cynipoid, Ibalia rufipes (Hymenoptera: Ibaliidae). Entomologica Scandinavica, Supplement 33. 60 pp.


Vet, L.E.M., and J.M. van Alphen. 1985. A comparative Functional approach to the host detection behaviour of parasitic wasps. I. A quantitative study on Eucoilidae and Alysiinae. ~ik~44 478‑486.


Vet, L.E., and K. Bakker. 1985. A comparative functional approach to the host detection behaviour of parasitic wasps. II. A quantitative study on eight eucoilid species. Oikos 44:487‑498.


Weld, L.H. 1952. Cynipoidea (Hym.) 1905‑1950. Privately printed. Ann Arbor, Michigan. USA. 351pp.


Weld, L.H. 1957. Cynipid galls of the Pacific slope (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea). Privately printed. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. 64 pp.


Weld, L.H. 1959. Cynipid galls of the eastern United States. Privately printed. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. 124 pp.


Weld, L.H. 1960. Cynipid galls of the Southwest (Hymenoptera, Cynipoidea). Privately printed. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. 35 pp.


Yoshimoto, C.M. 1970. A new subfamily of Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera) from Nepal. Canad. Entomol. 102:1583‑1585.