Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Helictes Haliday 1837


Characteristics of Helictes include: 1. Body size <10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 at, close to, or before centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing pentagonal (open); 4. Colour of face variable; 5. Metasoma somewhat compressed dorsal-ventrally; 6. Size of ocelli small; 7. Length of antennae shorter than body; 8. Length of ovipositor barely visible; 9. Wings present; 10. Colour of wings hyaline (clear); 11. Sternaulus absent; 12. Shape of face in lateral view weakly bulging; 13. Sternite on T1 (viewed laterally) not extending past spiracle; 14. Shape of T1 (viewed laterally) evenly curved; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles 2; 16. Metasoma same colour throughout; 17. Length of T1 vs T2 subequal in length; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum finely pitted, many hairs; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) uniform width (slightly widening posteriorly); 20. Glymma on T1 absent; 21. Sculpture on metasoma smooth with a semi-glossy or satin appearance at least on T2; 22. Propodeum reaching past coxal insertion, but not reaching halfway along metacoxae.

Similarity to Other Taxa

Helictes are most similar to Megastylus . However, in Megastylus the antennal scape is 'goblet-shaped' (strongly obliquely truncate), whereas in Helictes the antennal scape is short but cylindrical.

Distribution in NZ

North Island: AK, BP, CL, GB, HB, WO. South Island: NN, BR, CO, OL.

Species in NZ

Three undescribed endemic species.

Biology & hosts

Helictes is a large genus with species mainly occurring in the Holarctic and Neotropical regions, with many species in Chile and the Andes (Gauld 1984). In Australia, Helictes is only known from Tasmania.

No information is available on the genus in New Zealand. However, collection records indicate they are predominately caught in forested areas, although a few have been collected from peat bogs in the Waikato.

Sources of information

Gauld ID 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 p.


Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013. Ichneumonidae of New Zealand. Genus Helictes
Accessed: 6 July 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013