John T. Jennings and Andrew R. Deans
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Gasteruption jaculator visiting flowersPseudofoenus spinitarsis (Westwood)
taxon links [up-->]Hyptiogastrinae [up-->]Gasteruptiinae extinct icon [down<--]Evanioidea Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Evanioidea


Gasteruptiidae is represented by perhaps 1500-2000 species worldwide (Jennings and Austin 2002), of which about 500 are described. It is divided into three subfamilies:

The larvae of Gasteruptiidae are reported to be predators or predator-inquilines of various solitary bees and wasps (e.g. Höppner 1904; Malyshev 1966; Carlson 1979, Jennings and Austin 2004). Various authors have used the term secondary cleptoparasitoid (synonymous with predator-inquiline) (see Valentine and Walker 1991) or ectoparasitoid (synonymous with predator) (see Prinsloo 1985) when referring to gasteruptiids.


Gasteruptiidae is one on the most easily recognised families of parasitic wasps. They are particularly distinctive because of their slender, subclavate metasoma (see title illustrations), the dorsal articulation of the metasoma to the propodeum (see the Evanioidea page), the elongate, neck-like propleura, and expanded hind tibia.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

In a recent phylogenetic analysis by Jennings & Austin (2000), Gasteruptiinae (Gasteruption) was shown to be a monophyletic group and the sister to Hyptiogastrinae. Jennings & Austin (2002) examined internal relationships within Hyptiogastrinae and recognised just two genera; Hyptiogaster Kieffer which includes all taxa with an exserted ovipositor, and its sister genus Pseudofoenus Kieffer, representing all remaining Hyptiogastrinae (i.e. those with a short and hidden ovipositor).


Carlson, R. W. 1979. Superfamily Evanioidea. pp. 1109-1118. In Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., and Burks, B. D. (Eds.), Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Vol. 1. Symphyta and Apocrita (Parasitica). (Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, DC).

Höppner, H. 1904. Zur biologie der Rubus-bewohner. Allegemeine Zeitschrift fur Entomologie 5/6, 97-103.

Jennings, J. T. and Austin, A. D., 2004. Biology and host relationships of aulacid and gasteruptiid wasps (Hymenoptera: Evanioidea): a review. pp. 187-215. In Rajmohana, K., Sudheer, K., Girish Kumar, P., & Santhosh, S. (Eds.) Perspectives on Biosystematics and Biodiversity. University of Calicut, Kerala, India.

Jennings, J. T. and A. D. Austin. 2002. Systematics and distribution of world hyptiogastrine wasps (Hymenoptera: Gasteruptiidae). Invertebrate Systematics 16: 735-811.

Jennings, J. T. and Austin, A. D. 2000. Higher-level phylogeny of the Aulacidae and Gasteruptiidae (Hymenoptera: Evanioidea). pp. 154-164. In Austin, A. D. & M. Dowton (Eds) The Hymenoptera: Evolution, Biodiversity and Biological Control. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Malyshev, S. I. 1966. Genesis of the Hymenoptera and the Phases of Their Evolution. (Transl.) (Methuen & Co.: London).

Prinsloo, G. L. 1985. Order Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, bees, ants). Suborder Apocrita. Section Parasitica. pp. 404-406. In Scholtz, C. H., and Holm, E. (Eds.), Insects of Southern Africa (Butterworths: Durban).

Valentine, E. W. and Walker, A. K. 1991. Annotated catalogue of New Zealand Hymenoptera. DSIR Plant Protection Report No. 4.

Title Illustrations
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Gasteruption jaculator visiting flowers
Scientific Name Gasteruption jaculator
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage adult
Copyright © 2004 Hania Arentsen and Hans Arentsen
Pseudofoenus spinitarsis (Westwood)
Scientific Name Pseudofoenus spinitarsis (Westwood)
Location Australia
Comments Scale bar = 1 mm
Creator G. Weber, photographer
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By John Jennings
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage adult
Body Part habitus
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 2004 John T. Jennings
About This Page

John T. Jennings
University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, South Australia, Australia

Andrew R. Deans
Department of Entomology, NC State University

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to John T. Jennings at and Andrew R. Deans at

Page: Tree of Life Gasteruptiidae. Authored by John T. Jennings and Andrew R. Deans. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Jennings, John T. and Andrew R. Deans. 2006. Gasteruptiidae. Version 22 May 2006. in The Tree of Life Web Project,

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