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Diagnostic characters | Morphology and terminology | Notes on famalies

1. Wings shortened, not reaching apex of gaster


-. Wings fully developed, reaching past apex of gaster


2. Segments 1 and 2 of metasoma cylindrical, slender, forming a 2-segmented petiole (Fig. 1); head with frontal and posterior surfaces separated by a pleated membrane dorsally which has a bellows-appearance when expanded; body length less than 1mm [1 species known, New Zealand]


Fig. 1

Fig. 1

-. Petiole, if visible, one-segmented; head not with bellows-like structure; body length variable and often more than 1mm


3. Eyes absent or vestigial, much less than one-quarter as long as the distance between them (Figs 2-4); head prognathous and frequently with massive mandibles which may be more than half as long as head (Figs 2,3); fore and mid legs often conspicuously more robust than mid legs (Fig. 4); wings usually completely absent (Figs 1,2,4); tarsi varying from 1- to 5-segmented; gaster frequently elongate and recurved below thorax (Fig. 5); body colour yellow or orange, never metallic; associated with fruit of figs


Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

-. Eyes almost always distinct and more than one-third as long as the distance between them; head almost always hypognathous and usually with small or normal-sized mandibles which are much less than one-quarter as long as head; all legs of similar proportions; wings almost always present; tarsi varying from 3- to 5-segmented; gaster never elongate and recurved below thorax; body colour often dark brown, black or metallic; not associated with fruit of fig


4. Frons with a straight, transverse suture a little above toruli which connects with vertical sutures adjacent to each orbit, thus forming an "H" (Fig. 6)


Fig. 6

Fig. 6

-. Frons normally without a transverse suture above toruli but if present and straight, not V-shaped, then never with vertical sutures which run adjacent to inner orbits


5. Tarsi 3- or 4-segmented


-. Tarsi 5-segmented


6. Gaster sessile, broadly attached to propodeum


-. Gaster with a distinct constriction between gaster and propodeum


7. Tarsi 3-segmented; funicle at most 2-segmented


-. Tarsi 4-segmented; funicle at least 3-segmented


8. Clava and funicle each 6-segmented


-. Clava at most 3-segmented; funicle with not more than 5 segments


9. Mesopleuron undivided, relatively enlarged and longer than high (Figs 7,8)


Fig. 7

Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 8

-. Mesopleuron not unduly enlarged, mostly higher than long and divided into mesepisternum and mesepimeron, the two parts often with different sculpture


10. Thorax in profile with mid coxa inserted about level with middle of mesopleuron or even slightly anterior to this (Figs 7,8)


-. Thorax in profile with mid coxa inserted about level with posterior margin of mesopleuron


11. Antennal flagellum with not more than six segments; gaster sessile; mesoscutum at least slightly convex with notauli always present and straight, although sometimes strongly displaced laterally and not obvious; body normally not metallic, varying from yellow to dark brown or black, rarely metallic green; length normally less than 1.5mm


- Antennal flagellum 8- or 10-segmented; gaster always with a distinct petiole; mesoscutum either impressed or convex with notauli very inconspicuous or strongly curved; body mostly at least partly metallic, usually dark green, brown or black; length almost always greaterthan1.5mm


12. Pronotum, in dorsal view, with a clearly defined subrectangular area (or collar), which is clearly separate from the gradually tapering neck of the pronotum and is about as wide as the mesoscutum; the length of the collar at least about two-thirds as long as mesoscutum; antenna with not more than six funicle segments; head and dorsum of thorax mostly with numerous, conspicuous piliferous punctures which normally give rise to a very coarse sculpture


-. Pronotum without a distinct large and subrectangular collar; antenna frequently with seven funicular segments; sculpture of head and thorax mostly shallow


13. Gaster broadly sessile; notaular lines always present and straight, not curved; funicle in females rarely with more than three or four segments, in males usually with five; mid tibia normally with a relatively strong apical spur


-. Gaster always clearly constricted at junction with propodeum, never broadly sessile and often distinctly petiolate; notaular lines, if present, distinctly curved; antenna frequently with more than five funicle segments, in female almost always with more than four


14. Cercal plates slightly raised and papillar in form, not flat; female with ovipositor clearly exserted with exserted part at least one-quarter as long as gaster (very few species will run here)


-. Cercal plates flat, not papillar in form; female with ovipositor variable but often hardly exserted and less than one-quarter as long as gaster


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Last updated 07-Jun-2004 Dr B R Pitkin