Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Superfamily Ichneumonoidea - Braconid and Ichneumonid Wasps

Ichneumonid wasp  - female Ichneumon Wasp - Phytodietus - male overwintering Ichneumon - Ichneumon centrator - female Wasp - Gelis tenellus 3013580 ich - Cratichneumon Ichneumon Ichneumonidae ? - female WaspIchneumon_Cryptanura_sp08132017_MP_ - Cryptanura septentrionalis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" (parasitoid Apocrita))
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea (Braconid and Ichneumonid Wasps)
Pronotum more or less triangular in profile, and extending to tegula or nearly so. Antennae threadlike, usually with at least 16 segments. Hind trochanters 2-segmented. Ovipositor rises in front of apex of abdomen, non-retractable, often as long or longer than body. Venation usually normal. FW without a costal cell.
Gavin Broad's key to the subfamilies of Ichneumonidae(1) may not cover all of the NA subfamilies, but is extremely helpful all the same.

Diagram comparing recurrent vein(s) of Braconid and Ichneumonid wings (Washington State University).
Parasites of other arthropods
A very biodiverse and important group. Many are valuable biocontrol agents that control populations of agricultural and forest pest insects. Wasplike in appearance, but (with rare exceptions) do not sting.

POLYDNAVIRUSES. Two subfamilies of Ichneumonidae (Campopleginae and Banchinae) and 6 subfamilies of Braconidae (Microgastrinae, Miracinae, Cheloninae (including Adeliinae), Cardiochilinae, Khoikhoiinae, and Mendesellinae) carry polydnavirus DNA in their genomes, and release polydnaviruses into the host when the eggs are injected. The polydnaviruses suppress the host's immune system, thus protecting parasitoid progeny from host defenses.(2), (3), (4)
Print References
Internet References
Ichneumonoidea In Catalan, with excellent photos.
Works Cited
1.Broad G. (2011) Identification key to the subfamilies of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera)
2.Polydnaviruses of Parasitic Wasps: Domestication of Viruses To Act as Gene Delivery Vectors
Burke, G.R. and M.R. Strand. 2012. Insects 2012. (3): 91-119. doi:10.3390/insects3010091.
3.Viral DNA delivers wasp's sting
Kwok, Roberta. 2009. Nature international weekly journal of science.
4.When parasitic wasps hijacked viruses: genomic and functional evolution of polydnaviruses
Herniou, E.A., E. Huguet, J. Theze, A. Bezier, G. Periquet, J.M. Drezen. 2013. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Online ISSN: 1471-2970).
5.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
6.Peterson First Guide to Insects of North America
Richard E. White, Christopher Leahy, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.