Featured Chalcidoids
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Family- Torymidae

Introduction

Torymidae are a diverse family of chalcid wasps that can be easily recognized by their metallic body color, large hind coxae, and long ovipositor in females. This long ovipositor is used to deposit eggs onto or into their hosts. Torymidae specialize in parasitizing in hosts concealed habitats including attacking both gall-making insects and the eggs of praying mantises. They range in size from roughly 1mm to 7mm in length. Prior to 2017, the family was grouped into two subfamilies, Megastigminae and Toryminae. Molecular systematics suggested instead that the two subfamilies were unrelated and Megastigminae are now recognized as their own family (Jansta et al. 2017 DOI:10.1111/cla.12228). Torymidae now holds ___

Biology

Torymidae are biologically extremely diverse and comprise fundamentally different life styles including: endoparasitoids of different gall-inducers on various plants (trees or herbs), parasitoids of praying mantid eggs in their egg cases (Mantodea), and ectoparasitoids of bee larvae living in twigs and stems or of larvae of bark beetles. They have also been found as endoparasitoids of the eggs of true bugs, butterfly pupa, and other __ parasites. Some of these life styles/host types are restricted to a single tribe or closely related tribes whereas some have evolved convergently and are scattered throughout the family.

Morphology

The following describes morphology that is useful in identifying a parasitic wasp belonging to the family Torymidae. Their tarsi have 4-5 tarsomeres. Both sexes tend to large hind coxa. Torymidae have bodies with metallic luster and are much longer than 1mm. Females in Torymidae exhibit the most noticeable and easily identifiable body part which is their long ovipositor used for laying eggs.

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