Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Echthromorpha Holmgren, 1868


Being large, brightly coloured and widespread, Echthromorpha intricatoria is probably one of New Zealand's most encountered Ichneumonids. It is easily recognized by the small black spots of its forewings.

Characteristics of Echthromorpha include: 1. Body size 10-20mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 of metasoma is at, close to, or before centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing is triangulate; 4. Colour of face is not all black; 5. Metasoma compressed dorsal-ventrally; 6. Size of Ocelli is large or small; 7. Length of antennae are as long, or longer than body; 8. Length of ovipositor is distinct but not longer than body; 9. Wings present; 10. Colour of wings mostly clear but with dark patches/spots at distal end; 11. Sternaulus absent; 12. Shape of face in lateral view is flat or only weakly bulging; 13. Sternite on T1 (viewed laterally) variable; 14. Shape of T1 (viewed laterally) evenly curved; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles 2; 16. Patterns on metasoma with colourful spots on the lateral margins; 17. Length of T1 vs T2 is subequal in length; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum finely pitted, many hairs; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) of uniform width (slightly widening posteriorly); 20. Glymma on T1 present, (deep pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma striated; 22. Propodeum very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

Similarity to Other Taxa

Echthromorpha is a large-sized Ichneumonid in New Zealand. It is similar in size to: Rhyssa , Lissopimpla , Xanthocryptus , Ophion (1 species), Enicospilus , Eutanyacra , Ichneumon , Netelia , Ctenochares , and Degithina .

It can be readily separated from other similar sized taxa by having a black metasoma with white/yellow spots on the lateral margins; and black spots at the distal end of the forewings.

Distribution in NZ

North Island: ND, AK, GB, WN, BP, WI, WA, CL, HB, TO. South Island: NN, MB, SL, FD, CO, DN, MC, KA, BR, NC, SD.

Species in NZ

One native species, Echthromorpha intricatoria (Fabricius 1804), which is also found in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Biology & hosts

Echthromorpha intricatoria is widespread and common across New Zealand. This species is a generalist and has been recorded from 34 hosts from 16 families of Lepidoptera worldwide (Yu et al. 2005). In New Zealand, 12 hosts from 7 families have been recorded, these include: Metacrias huttoni , Nyctemera annulata , Tyria jacobaeae (Arctiidae); Chrysodeixis eriosoma , Helicoverpa armigera conferta , Thysanoplusia orichalcea (Noctuidae); Liothula omnivor e (Psychidae); Bassaris gonerilla , B. itea (Nymphalidae); Epiphyas postvittana (Tortricidae); Uresiphita polygonalis maorialis (Pyralidae); and Antheraea eucalypti (Saturniidae).

Sources of information

Early JW. 1984. Parasites and predators. IN Scott RR. (Ed.) pp 271-308. New Zealand pest and beneficial insects. Lincoln University College of Agriculture, Canterbury: 373 p.
Gauld ID. 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 p.Parrott AW 1952. New Zealand Ichneumonidae. II. Tribe Echthromorphini (Pimplinae). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Zoology) 80: 155-170.
Valentine EW & Walker AK. 1991. Annotated Catalogue of New Zealand Hymenoptera. DSIR Plant Protection Report 4. General Printing Services, 84 pp.
Yu DS, van Achterburg K, Horstmann K. 2005. World Ichneumonoidea 2004. Taxonomy, Biology, Morphology and Distribution. CD/DVD. Taxapad. Vancouver, Canada.


Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013. Ichneumonidae of New Zealand. Genus Echthromorpha
Accessed: 13 August 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013