Genus Morphochrysis Rosa & Pavesi, 2023

Gonodontochrysis Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1954a (as subgenus of Chrysis Linnaeus, 1761): 120. Unavailable name.
Chrysis (Chrysis) pulchella group: Linsenmaier 1959a: 93 (key), 103 (diagnosis).
Chrysis pulchella group: Kimsey & Bohart 1991: 322 (key), 331 (Fig. 107o), 336 (Fig. 110h), 358 (diagnosis, discussion). Farhad et al. 2019: 1006 (diagnosis).
Chrysis zaravshanica group: Tarbinsky 2002: 23 (description).

Some of the species included in this genus were previously included in Gonodontochrysis Semenov-TianShanskij, 1954. Linsenmaier (1959) and Kimsey & Bohart (1991) included all members of Morphochrysis in the Chrysis pulchella species-group (Fig. 1). Tarbinsky (2002) described the Chrysis zaravshanica species-group based on a member of this genus (Chrysis personata Semenov, 1967 = Chrysis zaravshanica Tarbinsky, 2002 syn. nov.).

Description. Species of medium to large size, with head distinctly larger than pronotum; first flagellomere elongate in both sexes (length/width ratio 2.5–3.2); scapal basin medially polished or slightly corrugated in the upper part, occasionally finely punctate in females; face usually finely punctate and covered by dense, adpressed whitish pubescence in males; transverse frontal carina strongly developed, broadly M-like, sometimes with distinct rami almost encircling anterior ocellus or delimiting anterior ocellar area; malar space as long as 1.0–1.5 × anterior ocellus diameter; radial cell open, with fore-wing radial sector short, 0.5–2.5 × anterior ocellus diameter away from wing margin; second metasomal tergum with weak to moderate longitudinal medial carina; third metasomal tergum with distinct pit row; lateral edges of third tergum with a small tooth, or angle, at or beyond the middle, followed by a slight concavity, more or less marked depending on species; third tergum apicomedially usually biconvex, rarely convex (Morphochrysis diadema) to nearly straight (Morphochrysis atechka and Morphochrysis intercurra) (Fig. 2); black spots on second sternum oval or rectangular, in some species close to each other or completely fused medially and covering large part of the segment (e.g. Morphochrysis pulchella and Morphochrysis calimorpha); male eighth sternite quadrangular, apically broad; male genital capsule with slender and elongate gonocoxa, apically curved; male and female internal segments unusually round shaped (Fig. 3). Finally, this genus is supported by molecular phylogenetic analyses as a distinct clade (Pauli et al. 2019).

Figure 1. Morphochrysis gen. nov., habitus, dorsal view. A. M. asahinai, ♀; B. M. andradei, ♀; C. M. atechka, ♀; D. M. atechka, ♂; E. M. pulchella, ♂; F. M. pulchella, ♀; G. M. dives, ♂; H. M. dives, ♀; I. M. personata, ♂; J. M. rubicunda, ♀; K. M. trisinuata, ♀; L. M. turceyana, ♀.

Figure 2. Morphochrysis gen. nov., third metasomal tergum, postero-lateral view. A. M. personata, ♂; B. M. pulchella, ♀; C. M. diadema, ♂; D. M. atechka, ♀; E. M. asahinai, ♀; F. M. urakensis, ♂; G. M. mosulensis, ♀; H. M. tedshensis, ♀.

Figure 3. Morphochrysis gen. nov., fifth and sixth female metasomal terga. A–B. M. pulchella; C–D. M. calimorpha; E–F. M. goetheana.

Distribution. The genus currently includes 33 species occurring all over the Palaearctic Region, in particular in dry, semi-desert and desert areas. However, preliminary molecular and morphological data suggest that some Nearctic species, currently included in Ceratochrysis Cooper, 1952, may also belong here.

Species included. Morphochrysis adolescentula (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1912) (Central Asia) (upgraded to species rank by Rosa et al. 2017a: 46); M. andradei (Linsenmaier, 1959) (Iberian Peninsula); M. asahinai (Tsuneki, 1950) (Mongolia); M. atechka (du Buysson, 1898a) (North Africa); M. belokobylskiji (Rosa, 2019a) (Central Asia, Mongolia); M. buxtoni (Morice, 1921) (Iraq); M. calimorpha (Mocsáry, 1882) (replacement name for Chrysis dives Dahlbom, 1854, nec Lucas, 1849, see Rosa & Xu 2015) (West Palaearctic) (subspecies: M. c. siziliana Linsenmaier, 1959); M. clivosa (Linsenmaier, 1959a) (Iberian Peninsula); M. cloe (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967) (Central Asia); M. diadema (Rosa, 2018c) (Central Asia); M. dives (Lucas, 1849) (North Africa); M. dusmetina (Bohart in Kimsey & Bohart, 1991) (replacement name for Chrysis dusmeti Trautmann, 1926, nec García Mercet, 1904) (Iberian Peninsula); M. flagrans (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967) (Caucasus, Turkey) (synonym: Chrysis turceyana Linsenmaier, 1959a); M. flamma (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1954) (Tadzhikstan); M. foveata (Dahlbom, 1845) (North Africa) (see Rosa & Vårdal 2015); M. gamberoonensis (Farhad, Rosa & Talebi, 2019) (Iran, Saudi Arabia); M. gracilicornis (Semenow, 1892) (Central Asia) (synonym: Chrysis benjamini Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967); M. hameri (Linsenmaier, 1994) (Arabian Peninsula); M. houbaraeensis Strumia & van Harten, 2020 (Arabian Peninsula); M. intercurra (Linsenmaier, 1968) (Middle East); M. larochei (Linsenmaier, 1993) (Canary Islands); M. mosulensis (Linsenmaier, 1968) (Iraq); M. personata (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967) (upgraded to species rank by Rosa et al. 2017a: 46) (Middle East, Central Asia) (synonym: Chrysis zaravshanica Tarbinsky, 2002 syn. nov.); M. prodives (Linsenmaier, 1968) (North Africa); M. przewalskii (Radoszkowski, 1887) (Palaearctic China); M. pulchella (Spinola, 1808) (West Palaearctic) (synonyms: Chrysis sinuata Brullé, 1833; C. spinifera Abeille de Perrin, 1878; C. dives europaea Linsenmaier, 1959); M. rubicunda (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967) (Central Asia); M. senescens (Semenov-TianShanskij, 1967) (upgraded to species rank by Rosa et al. 2017a: 47) (Central Asia); M. retracta (Linsenmaier, 1959) (Pakistan); M. tedshensis (Linsenmaier, 1968) (Central Asia); M. urakensis (Linsenmaier, 1968) (Pakistan); M. vahli (Dahlbom, 1854) (North Africa); M. ver (Semenov-Tian-Shanskij, 1967) (Central Asia).

European Species

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Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P. (2024) Genus Morphochrysis Rosa & Pavesi, 2023, in: website. Interim version 24 May 2024, URL: