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Tiphiid wasps
Tiphia P1280627a.jpg
Tiphia sp.
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Superfamily: Tiphioidea
Family: Tiphiidae
Leach, 1815

The Tiphiidae (also known as tiphiid wasps, [1] flower wasps, [2] [note 1] or tiphiid flower wasps [3] ) are a family of large, solitary wasps whose larvae are parasitoids of various beetle larvae, especially those in the superfamily Scarabaeoidea. [4] 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. [5] [6]


The females of some Brachycistidinae are wingless, and hunt ground-dwelling (fossorial) beetle larvae. [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. As some of the ground-dwelling scarab species attacked by tiphiids are pests, some of these wasps are considered beneficial as biological control agents.[ citation needed ]


Tiphiid genera are classified as follows: [7] [8] [9]

The male of a species of Brachycistidinae photographed in Nevada Tiphiid Wasp - Brachycistidinae subfamily, Great Basin National Park, Baker, Nevada.jpg
The male of a species of Brachycistidinae photographed in Nevada
A female Tiphia femorata photographed in Italy Tiphiidae - Tiphia femorata-1.JPG
A female Tiphia femorata photographed in Italy

Subfamily Brachycistidinae Kimsey, 1991

Subfamily Tiphiinae Leach, 1815



  1. Not to be confused with other flower wasps in Mutillidae, Scoliidae, or Thynnidae.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chalcid wasp</span> Superfamily of wasps

Chalcid wasps are insects within the superfamily Chalcidoidea, part of the order Hymenoptera. The superfamily contains some 22,500 known species, and an estimated total diversity of more than 500,000 species, meaning the vast majority have yet to be discovered and described. The name "chalcid" is often confused with the name "chalcidid", though the latter refers strictly to one constituent family, the Chalcididae, rather than the superfamily as a whole; accordingly, most recent publications (e.g.,) use the name "chalcidoid" when referring to members of the superfamily.

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

The Scoliidae, the scoliid wasps, are a family of about 560 species found 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 the Tiphiidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sawfly</span> Suborder of insects

Sawflies are the insects of the suborder Symphyta within the order Hymenoptera, alongside ants, bees, and wasps. The common name comes from the saw-like appearance of the ovipositor, which the females use to cut into the plants where they lay their eggs. The name is associated especially with the Tenthredinoidea, by far the largest superfamily in the suborder, with about 7,000 known species; in the entire suborder, there are 8,000 described species in more than 800 genera. Symphyta is paraphyletic, consisting of several basal groups within the order Hymenoptera, each one rooted inside the previous group, ending with the Apocrita which are not sawflies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Apocrita</span> Suborder of insects containing wasps, bees, and ants

Apocrita is a suborder of insects in the order Hymenoptera. It includes wasps, bees, and ants, and consists of many families. It contains the most advanced hymenopterans and is distinguished from Symphyta by the narrow "waist" (petiole) formed between the first two segments of the actual abdomen; the first abdominal segment is fused to the thorax, and is called the propodeum. Therefore, it is general practice, when discussing the body of an apocritan in a technical sense, to refer to the mesosoma and metasoma rather than the "thorax" and "abdomen", respectively. The evolution of a constricted waist was an important adaption for the parasitoid lifestyle of the ancestral apocritan, allowing more maneuverability of the female's ovipositor. The ovipositor either extends freely or is retracted, and may be developed into a stinger for both defense and paralyzing prey. Larvae are legless and blind, and either feed inside a host or in a nest cell provisioned by their mothers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ichneumonoidea</span> Superfamily of wasps

The superfamily Ichneumonoidea contains one extinct and three extant families, including the two largest families within Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae and Braconidae. The group is thought to contain as many as 100,000 species, many of which have not yet been described. Like other parasitoid wasps, they were long placed in the "Parasitica", variously considered as an infraorder or an unranked clade, now known to be paraphyletic.

<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">Parasitoid wasp</span> Group of wasps

Parasitoid wasps are a large group of hymenopteran superfamilies, with all but the wood wasps (Orussoidea) being in the wasp-waisted Apocrita. As parasitoids, they lay their eggs on or in the bodies of other arthropods, sooner or later causing the death of these hosts. Different species specialise in hosts from different insect orders, most often Lepidoptera, though some select beetles, flies, or bugs; the spider wasps (Pompilidae) exclusively attack spiders. More rarely, parasitoid wasps may use plant seeds as hosts, such as Torymus druparum.

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

Trigonalidae is one of the more unusual families of hymenopteran insects, of indeterminate affinity within the suborder Apocrita, and presently placed in a unique superfamily, Trigonaloidea, and the only extant taxon in the superfamily. The other putative related taxon is the extinct family Maimetshidae, known from the Cretaceous period. Trigonalidae are divided into 2 subfamilies; Orthogonalinae and Trigonalinae. These wasps are extremely rare, but surprisingly diverse, with over 90 species in 16 genera, and are known from all parts of the world. It is possibly the sister group to all Aculeata.

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

The Eucharitidae are a family of parasitic wasps. Eucharitid wasps are members of the superfamily Chalcidoidea and consist of three subfamilies: Oraseminae, Eucharitinae, and Gollumiellinae. Most of the 55 genera and 417 species of Eucharitidae are members of the subfamilies Oraseminae and Eucharitinae, and are found in tropical regions of the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wasp</span> Group of insects

A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies (Symphyta), which look somewhat like wasps, but are in a separate suborder. The wasps do not constitute a clade, a complete natural group with a single ancestor, as bees and ants are deeply nested within the wasps, having evolved from wasp ancestors. Wasps that are members of the clade Aculeata can sting their prey.

<i>Tiphia femorata</i> Species of wasp

Tiphia femorata, often known as a beetle-killing wasp or common tiphiid wasp, is a species of wasp belonging to the family Tiphiidae, subfamily Tiphiinae.

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

The Thynnidae 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.

<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. It is the larger of the two and has a worldwide distribution.

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

Myzinum maculatum is a species of wasp in the family Thynnidae. It is used as a biological control of turf grass pests.

<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.

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

Amiseginae is a subfamily of cuckoo wasps in the family Chrysididae. There are more than 30 genera and 150 described species in Amiseginae. The group occurs worldwide, and they are parasitoids of stick insect eggs (Phasmatodea). Females of some genera are flightless and resemble ants.

Methocha is a genus of parasitoid wasps in the family Thynnidae.

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

Methochinae is a small subfamily of solitary wasps in the family Thynnidae, whose larvae are parasitoids of various tiger beetle larvae.


  1. Obeysekara, Piyumi T.; Legrand, Ana (2014). "The Influence of Host Species and Location in the Host Detection Ability of Tiphiid (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae) Parasitoids". Environmental Entomology. 43 (6): 1594–1602. doi:10.1603/EN13275. PMID   25289963. S2CID   31183862.
  2. "Flower wasps". The Australian Museum. 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  3. Kelaidis, Panayoti; Tankersley, Boyce; Zale, Peter (2019). "November 2019" (PDF). International Rock Gardener (119): 115 pp. ISSN   2053-7557 . Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  4. 1 2 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. pp. 178–185. ISBN   0-660-14933-8.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. "Taxonomy for Tiphiinae". insectoid.info. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  8. "Tiphiinae". Fauna Europaea. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  9. Lynn S. Kimsey; Marius Wasbauer (2006). "Phylogeny and Checklist of the Nocturnal Tiphiids of the Western Hemisphere (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae: Brachycistidinae)". Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 15 (1): 9–25.
  10. Antropov, A.V. (2014). "Aculeata Scopoli, 1763. The wasps, bees and ants (Insecta: Vespida=Hymenoptera) from the Insect Limestone (Late Eocene) of the Isle of Wight, UK" (PDF). Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 104 (3–4): 335–446. doi:10.1017/S1755691014000103. S2CID   85699800.

Further reading