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Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761)

Cleptes semiauratus  (Linnaeus, 1761)
Chorology: Palearctic
Chorology: Palearctic
Italian distribution of Cleptes semiauratus
Italian distribution


Help AiutoSystematic position of Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761)

Subfamily & Tribe Cleptinae Size (mm)
Size (mm):
Genus & species Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761)
Species group semiauratus
Original combination Sphex semiaurata Linnaeus, 1761
Type series Lectotypus ♂ des. by Day (1979) (Mus.: London)
Original description Photo of the type

[original desc.]
Sphex semiaurata viridis nitida, abdomine ferrugineo apice nigro.
Habitat in Scania. D.C. Solander.
Magnitudo formicae. Antennae nigrae, Caput, Thorax, Femora viridi aenea, Tibiae ferrugineae. Abdomen ferrugineum, ovatum, apice s. segmenti duobus postermis nigrum.

[from: Móczár L., 2001 - World revision of the Cleptes semiauratus group (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae, Cleptinae). Linzer biol. Beitr. 33/1: 905-931]:

♀ - Length 5.5-7.5 mm. Head, usually face, pronotum- mesotorum flame red, pronotum often green in front. Mesototum often, scutellum, postscutellum usually golden reddish or golden green. Propodeum, except black oblique grooves, and mesopleuron extensively bluish green or greenish blue, ventral margin golden in front. Propodeum, mesopleuron and metapleuron with bluish, partly violet tint. Fore tarsi usually pale brown or yellowish brown, middle and hind tibiae darker, femora with metallic green reflection. Scape dark brown with reddish coppery tint on upper side. F-I or II partly pale brown. Fore wing moderately infuscated, discoidal cell distincty indicated, upper vein somewhat pale. T-III, usually anterior half or lateral spots on T-III yellowish brown, remnants of tergite blackish brown, at most with metallic pale blue laterally and T-III-IV without violet reflections. Face usually closely and shallowly, pronotum deeply, mostly sparsely punctured. MS 1.6 MOD long. Ped 2.0 times as long as wide, F-I 1.9 times, F-II 0.7 times, F-III 0.9 times as long as wide. Frontal sulcus usually broadly interrupted medially. Lateral margin of clypeus divergent, lateral corners sharply pointed. Ocellar triangle distinctly acute. Head broad, viewed from above, occipital carina narrow, often present, without minute foveae. Posterior groove of pronotum mostly with large, sometimes distinctly quadrangular pits medially. Mesonotum, scutellum with fine punctures. Postscutellum with small, dense punctures. Postscutellum not touching scutellum, with a row of minute foveolae between them. Propodeal disc usually with about 3-4 longitudinal ridges medially over the whole horizontal surface and/or same shorter ridges laterally. Posterlateral corners of propodeum usually rectangular, but often with a short stumpy or slightly acute spine. Mesopleuron mostly with some small, elongate, shallow or deeper foveae along the strigose, partly striate surface. Mesopleuron somewhat coarsely ridged. Metapleuron and lateral side of propodeum striate above partly finely strigose. T-1 with minute punctures medially, T-II-III with fine and very dense punctures, T-III with double punctures only laterally, T-IV with large, scarce punctures.

♂ - Length 4.5-7 mm. Head, thorax entirely greenish blue with more or less violet reflections or tint. Pedicel, flagellomeres, vertical face of propodeum and sometimes disc black. Propodeum rarely dark reddish medially. Scape above, outer side of coxae, femora, often hind tibiae with green metallic highlights. Fore tibiae usually pale brown above, middle and hind tibiae darker brown. Tarsomeres usually yellowish brown. T-I-II usually yellowish or redish brown, T-III often partly brownish, or extensively brown with lateral spots. T-IV black without violet reflection, T-V black or with more or less blue-greenish blue reflection. Fore wing hardly infuscated, nearly hyaline without a brownish spot. Discoidal cell well indicated. Nervulus not always antefurcal, in some specimens interstitial. Face densely, partly coarsely punctured. MS 0.8 MOD long. Ped 2.0 times as long as wide, F-I 2.0 times, F-.II 1.6 times, F-III 1.7 times as long as wide. Frontal sulcus distinct or interrupted medially. Clypeus with pointed corners anteriorly, lateral side oval. Ocellar triangle acute. Head broadened behind eyes, viewed from above. Narrow occipital carina present. The row of pits in posterior groove of pronotum not always quadrangular and remarkably larger medially. Pronotum deeply and densely punctured. Scutellum with deep punctures. Postscutellum not touching scutellum, with a deep and rather broad groove with a row of minute foveae between them. Lateral corners of propodeum somewhat pointed (Corsica), or stumpy in another specimen (from Corsica). Mesopleuron with oblique parallel ridging or strigose with some shallow foveolae, striate longitudinally, as well as metapleuron and lateral side of propodeum partly. T-III-IV with very dense, nearly close punctures, T-III with moderate double punctures laterally and T-IV medially with moderate double punctures. Genitalia Fig. 17. Paramere and process of paramere of equal length. Process of paramere distinctly broader on basal half, converging toward the top on apical half. Cuspis gradually slender toward tip. Digitus nearly as long as cuspis. Aedagus short, similarly as in C. pallipes.

Variation. C. semiauratus is a widely distributed and often common species of perplexing variability within populations and between countries. The number of examined males with black T-V is only about 25%, in contradiction to the 62% of the males with more or less bright blue or with pale blue reflections or tint. The distribution of these variations are figured on Map I. There are some specimens with irregular colours. Lower face flame red on female, with larger or smaller black spots on both sides (which is characteristic for C. pallipes), they are also in specimens mostly collected in the same place and time (i.e. Hungary: Kelebia, France: Rhone Brouth-Vernet, Portugalia). One normal coloured C. semiauratus male (with genitalia) (Transylvania: Nemetbogsän) has an expanded blue reflection on its T-IV, similarly as in C. pallipes (TV lost). Another male (Spain: Ventorillo 1450 m, Madrid) is C. semiauratus, but both sides of T-IV have blue spots, T-V black (genitalia unknown). One male (Spain: Escorial) more or less is similar to C. semiauratus, but T-IV with very pale blue tint, and T-V blue. The same 9 males genitalia prove the identity of the specimens with black and with bright or pale blue last tergite, the spread of these specimen is shown on Map I. The 3 females from Spain (e.i. El Ventrillo, leg Garrido) differ from normal female of C. semiauratus by the brownish black fore tibiae with narrow metallic streaks. One male colleted with the same data differs by mesopleuron with more foveae and by much coarser sculpture. All tibiae and partly tarsomeres brownish black. Another males (Spain) differ from the European males first of all by mesopleuron with more foveae, by the partial strigose and coarser ridging, and by the greenish metallic streaks on all tibiae. Genitalia of 3 males (Portalegre, Escorial, Salamanca) were prepared by E. Mingo, they are stuck on the label dry, below the specimen. It is curious, that the genitalia of the three males seem to be near to the genitalia of the species C. parnassicus (Fig. 15-16). Neither the sculpture of the propodeum in front, brownish legs without metallic reflection, nor the yellowish fore tarsi agree with C. parnassicus, at least below. Only a larger material can solve this problem. More interesting are 3 females, which show up different characters of both species: C. semiauratus and C. pallipes. The transitional forms are from: Italy: La Napole, Corsica: Olmeto and Bicchisano. Figs 19, 20,21.
Synonymy Sphex semiaurata Linnaeus, 1761: 413, 2♂♂. Lectotypus ♂ (Sweden). (Linnean Society Collection, Burlington House, London).
Cleptes semiaurata: Buysson, 1892: 91 ♀, ♂, Pl. VI. Fig. 6 (C. Diana Mocsáry ♂ as synonym).
Cleptes semiauratus: Morgan, 1984: 7, C. pallipes as syn, 10: desig. Lectotypus of C. pallipes, and 14: in key ♀, ♂, Fig. 91 (really C. pallipes ♀) (England).
Cleptes semiauratus: Kimsey & Bohart, 1990: 63 ("Lectotype female desig. herein", Paris, C. semiauratus group). (Fig. 11, 12f not C. semiauratus = really C. pallipes ♀).
Cleptes semiauratus: Strumia, 1994: 1 (Italy, C. splendidus Fabricius, 1794 as syn.).
Cleptes semiauratus: Kunz, 1994: 47, 72 (in key, sensu Linsenmaier: Germany).
Cleptes semiauratus: Linsenmaier, 1997: 10 (Fig. 5 C. splendens accordig to author) really genitalia of semiauratus (!), 31 (in key), 42 (description of C. semiauratus), 45 (colour illustration of C. semiauratus) -  really C. pallipes.
Systematic notes The interpretation given by Linsenmaier to the species names of this Genus is different from Móczár's one. We follow Móczár's one. According to Móczár:
C. pallipes = C. semiauratus sensu Linsenmaier;
C. semiauratus = C. splendens sensu Linsenmaier;
C. splendidus = C. consimilis sensu Linsenmaier (1959a) and C. chevrieri sensu Linsenmaier (1997).

Help AiutoGeographic distribution of Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761)

World distribution
Type locality Sweden ('Scania')
Kimsey & Bohart Palaearctic (France) & Nearctic (E USA)
Linsenmaier Europe to Siberia and Caucasus, Algeria
Other Authors Hungary, Austria, Czech Rep., Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, Portugal, Luxenbourg, England, Denmark, Germany, Russia (Móczár, 2001)
Chorology Palearctic
Distribution notes The record for the U.S.A. must be referred to C. pallipes
Italian distribution according to the Checklist of the species of the Italian Fauna
Macroregion North (N): TRUE South (S): TRUE Sicily (Si): FALSE Sardinia (Sa): FALSE
Endemic FALSE
Italian distribution by Administrative Region (Personal evidences, Literature records and other sources)   
Adm. Region Literature records Personal records
Piemonte|Piedmont TRUE Abeille, 1879 (as Cleptes semiaurata); Frey-Gessner, 1897 (as Cleptes pallipes); Móczár, 2001; Rosa, 2002a, 2005a; Strumia, 2005; TRUE
Valle d'Aosta|Aosta V. TRUE Rosa, 2002c, 2006a; TRUE
Lombardia|Lombardy TRUE Magretti, 1881; Rosa, 2002a, 2002b; TRUE
Trentino Alto Adige TRUE Cobelli, 1903, 1910; Hellrigl, 1996; Kofler, 1975, Strumia, 2005; TRUE
Friuli V.G. TRUE Móczár, 2001; FALSE
Liguria TRUE Spinola, 1806; Mantero, 1899, 1908 (on Ferulago galbanifera); Invrea, 1920; Rosa, 2005a; Strumia, 2005; TRUE
Emilia Romagna TRUE Costa, 1864; Grandi, 1927; Zangheri, 1969; Rosa, 2005a, 2005b; TRUE
Toscana|Tuscany TRUE Rossi, 1790 (as Ichneumon semiauratus); Contarini, 1843 (as Cleptes semiaurata); Casolari & Casolari, 1980; Strumia, 2005; TRUE
Abruzzo TRUE Zavattari, 1915; Strumia, 2005; TRUE
Campania TRUE Costa, 1858, 1864; Buysson, 1890, 1897; Móczár, 2000; FALSE
Puglia|Apulia FALSE FALSE
Basilicata FALSE FALSE
Calabria TRUE Costa, 1882; Móczár, 2001; TRUE
Sicilia|Sicily FALSE TRUE
Sardegna|Sardinia FALSE FALSE
Distribution notes

Help AiutoBiology of Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761)

Known Hosts
Nematus miliaris Pz. (De Bormans, 1887), Nematus ribesii Scop., Nematus ?caeruleocarpus Htg. (Berland & Bernard, 1938), Pristiphora abietina (Chr.) (Gauss, 1964), Nematus hispidae Sm. (Darling & Smith, 1985) (Kimsey & Bohart, 1990)
Notes on Hosts
Known Habitat
Plants for rest/refuge Ferulago galbanifera (Mantero, 1908); Ferulago galbanifera (Invrea, 1920); Ribes rubrum, R. uva-crispa, R. alpinum (Morgan, 1984)
Biological notes  

For citation purposes:

Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P., 2017 : Cleptes semiauratus (Linnaeus, 1761) . In: Database of the Italian Chrysididae, interim version 18 January 2017 . URL: