Genus Philoctetes Abeille, 1879

Last updated on November 28th, 2023

Genus Philoctetes Abeille, 1879From: Kimsey L.S. & Bohart R.M., 1990 (1991) – The chrysidid wasps of the world. Oxford University Press, ix-652 pp.


Philoctetes Abeille 1879:27. Type: Holopyga cicatrix Abeille 1879 (Diplorrhos micatus Kimsey). Desig. by Ashmead 1902:228.
Diplorrhos Aaron 1885:216. Type: Diplorrhos plicatus Aaron 1885:216. Monobasic. N. synonymy.
Chrysellampus Semenov 1932:5. Type: Chrysellampus heros Semenov 1892:71. Orig. desig. and monobasic. N. synonymy.
Dictenulus Semenov 1932:6. Type: Ellampus specularis Semenov 1932:18. Orig. desig. N. synonymy.
Parellampus Semenov 1932:7. Type: Parellampus praeteritorium Semenov 1932:7.

Generic diagnosis

Scapal basin generally smooth and asetose; malar space 1 MOD or shorter; genal carina generally faint, extending from mandibular socket; vertex generally densely punctate; pronotum deeply concave laterally, punctate medially; scutum with punctures clumped along notauli, or less commonly more evenly distributed; mesopleuron carinate or rounded, juncture of omaulus, verticaulus, and scrobal carina not strongly projecting, signum carina usually present, scrobal sulcus oblique; metanotum usually conical, even mucronate in several species; fore wing medial cell asetose, medial vein strongly arched and arising before cu-a, stigma short, broad and apically rounded; fore femur carinate ventrally; tarsal claws with 1-3 subsidiary teeth; T- I—III strongly convex; T-III lateral margin straight: or sinuate, usually deeply notched apicomedially, or bent under, without transparent rim.


Philoctetes variatus has been reared from various twig-nesting Pemphredoninae (Sphecidae), including Diodontus occidentalis W. Fox, Pemphredon grinnelli (Roh.), Stigmus inordinattis W. Fox, and Passaloecus cuspidatus F. Smith (Powell 1963, Parker and Bohart 1966, Evans 1973b). Philoctetes intermedium has been reared from Diodontus virginianus (Roh.) (Krombein 1963).


The majority of species are Holarctic, with 8 in the Nearctic Region and 34 in the Palearctic. One unusual species, afer, is Afrotropical. The highest diversity is in southern USSR and western China.


As a whole, Philoctetes is the least specialized of the three genera related to Omalus, although it does include some highly derived species. The mesopleuron usually has an omaulus, scrobal carina, and verticaulus. However, one or more of these carinae may be weakly developed or even absent. In addition, the tarsal claws only have one to three subsidiary teeth, with most species having two. Diagnostic features are: omaulus and scrobal carina forming a broadly V-shaped angle, scutal punctures clumped along notauli, and metanotum usually sharply angled, or even mucronate. A mucronate metanotum occurs in cupratusafer, and seminudus. Several species, including intermedium, have an Elampus-like snout on the apex of T-III. Most species have T-III notched apicomedially. This notch may be simple or snout-like, as in intermedius, or have a dorsal nose-like projection as in plicatus and downeyi. Other species, including hirsutus and nikolskyi, have extensive long, erect, black setae. One group, including caudatus, deflexus, fedtsbenkoilimpidipennis, and omaloides, has the metanotum sharply conical and the apex of T-III is bent under giving it a nose-like appearance, without a medial notch.

We have used somewhat different characters to define Philoctetes than previous authors, and as a result the Philoctetes of Linsenmaier (1959) is not comparable. There are no major revisions of this group, and the only reliable regional treatments are those of Bohart and Campos (1960) and Bohart and Kimsey (1982), where it is given as Diplorrhos.

European species

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Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P. (2024) Genus Philoctetes Abeille, 1879, in: website. Interim version 13 April 2024, URL: