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Genus Labena

Ichneumonid - Labena grallator - female Ichneu Wasp - Labena grallator - female Ichneumon wasp? - Labena grallator - male Florida Ichneumon - Labena grallator - female Ichneumonidae - Labena grallator - female Ophion? - Labena tinctipennis Ichmeumonid wasp, unid. - Labena tinctipennis - female Labena grallator? - Labena grallator - male
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)
Family Ichneumonidae (Ichneumonid Wasps)
Subfamily Labeninae
Genus Labena
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Genera were formerly considered as a part of Xoridinae(1) until split into a separate subfamily
Explanation of Names
Labena Say, 1836.
2 spp. in our area(1)
The only genus of tribe Labenini in our area.(2)
Fore wing 6.5 to 19 mm (7.3-18 mm L. grallator, 10.0-16.5mm L. tinctipennis)(1)
Body length often around 15 mm (excluding antennae and ovipositor); females roughly 30mm in total (BG data)
Labenini is defined among our Labeninae by the labrum being mostly concealed by the clypeus and a single basal hamulus on the hind wing. Labena is further defined by a deep vertical groove on the hind coxae, flattened apical flagellomere of female, fore wing with 2-Cu > vein 2cu-a, and apical process of tarsomere 3 of female.(2) Hind coxae are significantly elongate, not much shorter than the femora. Our species also have an ovipositor comparable to the length of the abdomen.

"In photography, members of Labeninae are easily noted for their red bodies with yellow markings, elongated mesoscutum, body length of around 15mm, and orange-yellow ovipositor sheath. Labena are readily separated from their sister genus, Grotea, by their longer ovipositors." - comment by Jon Hoskins

The two species in our area are recognized as follows:(1)
L. grallator: eastern specimens primarily red, western specimens conspicuously yellow-marked, apical ~0.3 of antennae blackish, ocellar space with a black line connecting the eyes and two oblique yellow spots, wings often conspicuously darkened. Range: eastern US west to Arizona and southern California
L. tinctipennis: body entirely red apart from the lower portion of the face, only apical ~0.16 of antennae blackish, ocellar space unmarked, wings lighter with reddish-brown suffusion and a darkened apex. Range: Arizona, California to British Columbia
US to the Neotropics, Australia(2)
Larvae parasitize xylophagous beetle larvae.(3)
Works Cited
1.Ichneumon-Flies of America North of Mexico: 2. Subfamilies Ephialtinae, Xoridinae, and Acaenitinae
Henry Townes and Marjorie Townes. 1960. Bulletin - United States National Museum, Vol. 216, Part 2, pp. 1–676.
2.Xenothyrini, a new tribe of Labeninae, and a key to the tribes and genera of Labeninae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)
Wahl, David B. 1996. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 98(1): pp. 158-161.
3.The Transantarctic genus Labena (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Labenini) in Chile