Identification of Chrysididae

Last updated on June 8th, 2020

Once prepared, the specimen can be parked in an entomological box, with the similar ones, but one last component it still lacking: the identification label. Such label is written by its identifier, the entomologist who recognizes it on the basis of its diagnostic characters and assigns it to a known species. Therefore, the last pinned label should report the following info: Genus species Author, sex, identifier and year, i.e. Chrysis ignita L., ♀, C.Darwin det., 1980). When more determination cards are present on the same spacimen it means that the specimen has been examined and revised by many specialists, each one leaving his own taxonomic opinion. Generally, the last temporal diagnosis is the most reliable, reported on the lowest label.

Some chrysidids

OcularsThe procedure of identification of a specimen is executed by a specialist who receives the material by a collector. After some time, he returns the material and keeps some specimens for his own collection, as an “honorarium” for his performance. The identification is performed using a stereoscopic microscope and through a critical comparison between what is seen and what is written in the determination keys.

Móczár (1997) wrote: « Most species of Cleptes [but this could be extended to the whole Chrysididae] are rare and their colour and sculpture show a great variety even within populations. The main reasons behind it are the cleptoparasitic lifestyle and the microclimatic circumstances which influence individual development. Thus, their classification is sometimes uncertain. »

The main determination keys for Chrysididae have been supplied by the following Authors: W. Linsenmaier, L. Móczár, L.S. Kimsey and R. Bohart (see the Literature page). reports a

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For citation purposes

Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P. (2020) Identification of Chrysididae, in: website. Interim version 05 July 2020, URL: