Last updated

Male yellow flower wasp02.jpg
Male Agriomyia sp. feeding on nectar
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Superfamily: Thynnoidea
Family: Thynnidae
Shuckard, 1841

The Thynnidae (also known as thynnid wasps, flower wasps, or thynnid flower wasps) are a family of large, solitary wasps whose larvae are almost universally parasitoids of various beetle larvae, especially those in the superfamily Scarabaeoidea. Until recently, the constituents of this family were classified in the family Tiphiidae, but multiple studies have independently confirmed that thynnids are a separate lineage. [1] [2] [3]



Most species are small, but they can be up to 30 mm long.[ citation needed ] The females of some subfamilies (Diamminae, Methochinae, and most Thynninae) are wingless and hunt ground-dwelling (fossorial) beetle larvae, or (in one species) mole crickets. [4] The prey is paralysed with the female's sting, and an egg is laid on it so the wasp larva has a ready supply of food. In species where both sexes are winged, males are similar in size to the females, but are much more slender. The males of species with wingless females, however, are often much larger than the females and have wings; the adults mate in the air, with the female carried by the male's genitalia.[ citation needed ] Adults feed on nectar and are minor pollinators. [5] As some of the ground-dwelling scarab species attacked by thynnids are pests, some of these wasps are considered beneficial as biological control agents. [ citation needed ]


The family has five extant subfamilies, which were previously placed in Tiphiidae before it was found to be non-monophyletic. [1] Thynnidae genera are classified as follows: [1] [6] [3] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

Cosila chilensis (subfamily Anthoboscinae) photographed in Chile Cosila chilensis (174449168).jpg
Cosila chilensis (subfamily Anthoboscinae) photographed in Chile
Diamma bicolor female (subfamily Diamminae) photographed in Australia Female blue ant05.jpg
Diamma bicolor female (subfamily Diamminae) photographed in Australia
Myzinum quinquecinctum males (subfamily Myzininae) photographed in Oklahoma. Myzinum quinquecinctum P1240895a.jpg
Myzinum quinquecinctum males (subfamily Myzininae) photographed in Oklahoma.
A pair of Zaspilothynnus sp. mating (subfamily Thynninae), photographed in Australia: The male is larger and has wings. Grasbaum fg3.jpg
A pair of Zaspilothynnus sp. mating (subfamily Thynninae), photographed in Australia: The male is larger and has wings.

Extant genera

Subfamily: Anthoboscinae Turner, 1912

Subfamily: Diamminae Turner, 1907

Subfamily: Methochinae Rohwer, 1916

Subfamily: Myzininae Borner, 1919

Tribe: Austromyzinini
Tribe: Myzinini
Tribe: Mesini Argaman, 1994
Tribe: Meriini Costa, 1858

Subfamily: Thynninae Ashmead, 1903

Tribe: Elaphropterini Kimsey, 1992
Tribe: Rhagigasterini Ashmead, 1903
Tribe: Scotaenini Kimsey,1992
Tribe: Thynnini

Extinct genera

The following 4 genera are extinct members of Thynnidae: [17]

Subfamily: Anthoboscinae Turner, 1912

Subfamily: Methochinae Rohwer, 1916

Subfamily: Myzininae Borner, 1919

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiger beetle</span> Family of beetles

Tiger beetles are a family of beetles, Cicindelidae, known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest known species of tiger beetle, Rivacindela hudsoni, can run at a speed of 9 km/h, or about 125 body lengths per second. As of 2005, about 2,600 species and subspecies were known, with the richest diversity in the Oriental (Indo-Malayan) region, followed by the Neotropics. While historically treated as a subfamily of ground beetles (Carabidae) under the name Cicindelinae, several studies since 2020 indicated that they should be treated as a family, the Cicindelidae, which are a sister group to Carabidae within the Adephaga.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scoliidae</span> Family of wasps

The Scoliidae, the scoliid wasps, are a family of wasps comprising about 560 species worldwide. They tend to be black, often marked with yellow or orange, and their wing tips are distinctively corrugated. Males are more slender and elongated than females, with significantly longer antennae, but the sexual dimorphism is not as apparent as in many of the Tiphiidae and Thynnidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vespoidea</span> Superfamily of insects

Vespoidea is a superfamily of wasps in the order Hymenoptera. Vespoidea includes wasps with a large variety of lifestyles including eusocial, social, and solitary habits, predators, scavengers, parasitoids, and some herbivores.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Myrmicinae</span> Subfamily of ants with cosmopolitan distribution whose pupae do not create cocoons

Myrmicinae is a subfamily of ants, with about 140 extant genera; their distribution is cosmopolitan. The pupae lack cocoons. Some species retain a functional sting. The petioles of Myrmicinae consist of two nodes. The nests are permanent and in soil, rotting wood, under stones, or in trees.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiphiidae</span> Family of insects

The Tiphiidae are a family of large, solitary wasps whose larvae are parasitoids of various beetle larvae, especially those in the superfamily Scarabaeoidea. Until recently, this family contained several additional subfamilies, but multiple studies have independently confirmed that these comprise a separate lineage, and are now classified in the family Thynnidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Microgastrinae</span> Subfamily of wasps

Microgastrinae is a subfamily of braconid wasps, encompassing almost 3,000 described species, with an estimated 30,000–50,000 total species. This makes it one of the richest subfamilies with the most species of parasitoid wasps.

<i>Delta</i> (wasp) Genus of wasps

Delta is an Old World genus of potter wasps with species predominantly distributed through tropical Africa and Asia. Some species are present in the Palearctic region, and a few have been introduced in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. The members of this genus have a long metasomal petiole, like members of the genera Eumenes and Zeta.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Doryctinae</span> Subfamily of wasps

The Doryctinae or doryctine wasps are a large subfamily of braconid parasitic wasps (Braconidae). Numerous genera and species formerly unknown to science are being described every year. This subfamily is presumably part of a clade containing otherwise any or all of the Alysiinae, Braconinae, Gnamptodontinae, Opiinae and Ypsistocerinae, and might be most closely related to the last one of these. Whether the Rogadinae are also part of this group is not known.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bethylidae</span> Family of wasps

The Bethylidae are a family of aculeate wasps in the superfamily Chrysidoidea. As a family, their biology ranges between parasitoid wasps and hunting wasps.

<i>Agenioideus</i> Genus of wasps

Agenioideus is a genus of spider wasps from the subfamily Pompilinae; the genus occurs in Europe, where 21 species are recorded, eastwards to Japan, in North America, South America, and Australia.

Ireangelus is a genus of kleptoparasitic spider wasps from the sub-family Ceropalinae of the family Pompilidae. The genus has a pan tropical distribution, being known from Oriental, Neotropical, Australian, eastern Palearctic, and Madagascan Zoogeographic regions being best represented in the Neotropics. Irenangelus is closely related to the more widespread genus Ceropales, the two genera forming a monophyletic subfamily, Ceropalinae within the Pompilidae. This is regarded as the most basal grouping of the Pompilidae but this view is problematic because of the kleptoparasitic life history of the Ceropalines, it is now considered that they Ceropalines and other pompilids evolved from a common ectoparasitoid ancestor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brachycistidinae</span> Subfamily of wasps

Brachycistidinae is a subfamily of the flower wasp family Tiphiidae that contains 10 genera and 85 species, and which is confined to the Nearctic zoogeographic region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiphiinae</span> Subfamily of wasps

Tiphiinae is one of the two subfamilies of the flower wasp family Tiphiidae, the other being the Nearctic Brachycistidinae. Tiphiinae is the larger of the two and has a worldwide distribution.

<i>Leucospis</i> Genus of wasps

Leucospis is a genus of wasps belonging to the family Leucospidae. Most species are brightly coloured with yellow and black patterning and about 2 cm long. They have characteristically enlarged femurs on the hind leg, with the lower margin toothed. The wings have a longitudinal fold and the long ovipositor is bent over their backs above the abdomen or metasoma. They are parasitic on wasps and solitary bees that construct cells and provision food for their offspring. The Leucospis larvae live and grow as ectoparasites of the host larvae. Usually, only one parasite emerges from a single cell. The genus Micrapion from South Africa is very closely related, and phylogenetic studies suggest merging of the two genera. The genus Leucospis is found across the world in the tropical regions.

<i>Myzinum</i> Genus of wasps

Myzinum is a genus of wasps in the family Thynnidae. There are 63 species presently recognized in Myzinum. They measure 7–24 mm. They are found in meadows, fields, and lawns. They parasitize white grubs, including Phyllophaga. They are used as biological controls.

<i>Myzinum obscurum</i> Species of wasp

Myzinum obscurum is a species of wasp in the family Thynnidae. It is found in the Eastern United States.

<i>Hyptia</i> Genus of wasps

Hyptia is a genus of ensign wasps in the family Evaniidae. There are at least 50 described species in Hyptia. Most Hyptia can be differentiated from other genera by heavily reduced venation of the forewings, wherein only one closed cell is present.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Loboscelidiinae</span> Subfamily of wasps

Loboscelidiinae is a small subfamily of cuckoo wasps in the family Chrysididae. There are 2 genera and more than 40 described species in Loboscelidiinae, and they are parasitoids of walking stick eggs.

<i>Thynnus</i> Genus of wasps

Thynnus is a genus of wasps in the family Thynnidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pelecinellidae</span> Family of wasps

Pelecinellidae is a small family of chalcidoid wasps, formerly treated as the subfamily Leptofoeninae within Pteromalidae. They, like many small chalcidoids, are brilliantly metallic.


  1. 1 2 3 Pilgrim, E.; von Dohlen, C.; Pitts, J. (2008). "Molecular phylogenetics of Vespoidea indicate paraphyly of the superfamily and novel relationships of its component families and subfamilies". Zoologica Scripta. 37 (5): 539–560. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00340.x. S2CID   85905070.
  2. Johnson, B.R.; et al. (2013). "Phylogenomics Resolves Evolutionary Relationships among Ants, Bees, and Wasps". Current Biology. 23 (20): 2058–2062. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.050 . PMID   24094856.
  3. 1 2 Debevec, Andrew H.; Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N. (2012). "Identifying the sister group to the bees: a molecular phylogeny of Aculeata with an emphasis on the superfamily Apoidea" (PDF). Zoologica Scripta. 41 (5): 527–535. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00549.x. S2CID   33533180.
  4. Brothers, Denis J. (1993). "Key to subfamilies of Tiphiidae". In Goulet, Henri; Huber, John T. (eds.). Hymenoptera of the World, an Identification Guide to Families. Ottawa, Ontario: Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research. p. 178-185. ISBN   0-660-14933-8.
  5. Phillips, R.D.; Bohman, B; Brown, G.R.; Tomlinson, S.; Peakall, R. (2019). "A specialised pollination system using nectar-seeking thynnine wasps in Caladenia nobilis (Orchidaceae)" (PDF). Plant Biology. 22 (2): 157–166. doi:10.1111/plb.13069. PMID   31705712. S2CID   207964289.
  6. Brown, G. (2001). "Status of the Ariphron generic group (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae): A critical review". Australian Journal of Entomology. 40 (1): 23–40. doi:10.1046/j.1440-6055.2001.00207.x.
  7. van Achterberg, Cornelis; van Harten, Antonius (2009). "Order Hymenoptera, family Thynnidae. Genera Lamprowara Boni Bartalucci, Iswara Westwood and Komarowia Radoszkowski (Hymenoptera: Thynnidae: Myzininae: Meriini)". Arthropod Fauna of the UAE. 2: 298–334. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  8. Boni Bartalucci, Mario (2004). "Tribe-groups of the Myzininae with special regard to the palaearctic taxa of the tribe Meriini (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae)" (PDF). Linzer Biologische Beiträge. 36 (2): 1205–1308. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  9. Boni Bartalucci, Mario (2007). "The Afrotropical genera of the subtribe Meriina". Linzer Biologische Beiträge. 39 (2): 1257–1305. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  10. Boni Bartalucci, Mario (2011). "Myzininae of the Old World. The subtribe Braunsomeriina (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae)" (PDF). Linzer Biologische Beiträge. 43 (1): 363–380. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  11. Kimsey, Lynn S. (2004). "Illustrated keys to genera of the male wasps in the subfamily Thynninae (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae)". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 106 (3): 571–585. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  12. Carnimeo, Fernando Henrique (2021). Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of Elaphropterini (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae, Thynninae) (PhD thesis). São José do Rio Preto: São Paulo State University. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  13. Brown, Graham R. (2010). "Curvothynnus gen. nov. erected for two unusual species of thynnine wasps (Hymenoptera: Thynnidae: Thynninae: Rhagigasterini)". The Beagle Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory. 26 (1): 89–96. doi: 10.5962/p.287464 .
  14. Brown, Graham R. (2015). "Rugosothynnus gen. nov. (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae: Thynninae: Rhagigasterini), a newly recognised Australian genus". Zootaxa. 3925 (3): 361–386. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3925.3.3. PMID   25781749.
  15. Carnimeo, Fernando Henrique; Noll, Fernando Barbosa (2018). "On the dumping ground genus Scotaena Klug, 1810 (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae: Thynninae): Phylogeny, taxonomy and geographic distribution". Zootaxa. 4399 (4): 451–490. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4399.4.1. hdl: 11449/150542 . PMID   29690290.
  16. Kimsey, Lynn S. (1992). "Phylogenetic relations among the South American thynnine tiphiid wasps (Hymenoptera)". Systematic Entomology. 17 (2): 133–144. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.1992.tb00326.x. S2CID   84978103.
  17. "Thynnidae". Paleobiology Database. Retrieved September 9, 2023.