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John T. Jennings and Andrew R. Deans
Gasteruption jaculator visiting flowersPseudofoenus spinitarsis (Westwood)
taxon links [down<--]Evanioidea [up-->]Gasteruptiinae [up-->]Hyptiogastrinae Interpreting the tree
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The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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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 two subfamilies that are recognised as monophyletic (Jennings and Austin 2000): Gasteruptiinae and Hyptiogastrinae.

The larvae of Gasteruptiidae are reported to be predators or predator-inquilines of various solitary bees and wasps (e.g. H?ppner 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).

H?ppner, 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
Scientific Name Gasteruption jaculator
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage adult
Copyright © 2004 Hania Arentsen and Hans Arentsen
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
Copyright © 2004 John T. Jennings
About This Page

John T. Jennings

Waite Insect & Nematode Collection, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Waite Campus, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond SA 5064, AUSTRALIA

Andrew R. Deans

School of Computational Science Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306 U.S.A.

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

Citing this page:

Jennings, John T. and Deans, Andrew R. 2005. Gasteruptiidae. Version 06 May 2005 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Gasteruptiidae/23535/2005.05.06 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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