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Family Stephanidae - Crown Wasps

Steph - Megischus bicolor - female Megischus californicus - female Please Tell Me What This Is. Thanks! - Megischus bicolor - female Megischus bicolor stephanid - Megischus bicolor - female Unknown parasitic wasp - Megischus bicolor - male ??? - Megischus bicolor Megischus bicolor female crown of thorns wasp - Megischus bicolor - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" - Parasitoid Wasps)
Superfamily Stephanoidea
Family Stephanidae (Crown Wasps)
Other Common Names
Crown-of-thorns Wasps
Stephanid Wasps
Explanation of Names
Stephanidae Leach 1815
from Greek στέφανος (stéphanos) 'crown or wreath' (lit. 'that which encircles') (referring to the semicircle of pointy tubercles on the head thought to resemble the stéphanos crown)
The stéphanos specifically refers to the bent laurel wreath, which would vary from a semicircle to completely encircling the head. These were given to represent victory or esteem. As such, the stéphanos was heavily associated with being a prize in the Greek athletic games. The stéphanos is in contrast to the crown of royalty, represented in Greek as διάδημα (diádēma), which formed a more complete circle around the head.
8 spp. in 2 genera in our area(1), >340 spp. in 11 genera worldwide(2)
5-19 mm
Slender antennae, 30 or more segments. Head has crown of teeth around median ocellus. Long ovipositor. Most associated with pines, seldom seen.
transcontinental, most diverse in western and southern; only two spp. (both in Megischus) are found in the east(1)
hosts: wood-boring beetles and horntails(1)
Print References
Townes H. (1949) The Nearctic species of the family Stephanidae (Hymenoptera). Proceedings of the United States National Museum 99: 361-371.
A.P. Aguiar and N.F. Johnson (2003) Stephanidae (Hymenoptera) of America North of Mexico (1)
Works Cited
1.Stephanidae (Hymenoptera) of America North of Mexico
A.P. Aguiar and N.F. Johnson. 2003. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 105(2):467-483.
2.Order Hymenoptera. In: Zhang Z-Q (ed) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classif. and survey of taxonomic richness
Aguiar AP, Deans AR, Engel MS, Forshage M, Huber JT, Jennings JT, Johnson NF, Lelej AS, Longino JT, Lohrmann V, Mikó I, Ohl M. 2013. Zootaxa 3703: 51–62.