Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Hypsicera Latreille 1829


Characteristics of Hypsicera include: 1. Body size <10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 at, close to, or before centre; 3. Aerolet in forewing is open; 4. Colour of face only black; 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 strongly 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) gradually widening from anterior to posterior; 20. Glymma on T1 present, (deep pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma punctured (sometimes less densly or densly punctured); 22. Propodeum very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

Similarity to Other Taxa

Hypsicera (and other genera of the subfamily Metopiinae) have a 'bulging face', which seperates them from almost all other genera. Hypsicera is also quite 'stocky' in appearance, with the hind coxa and femur large. Hypsicera can be seperated from other genera of the subfamily Metopiinae by using the key of Berry (1990).

Some small Aucklandella also have a 'bulging face' but these species have colourful bodies (Metopiinae are black), and they also have the spiracle of T1 well behind the centre (in Metopiinae the spiracle on T1 is at, close to, or before centre).

Stenomacrus (Orthocentrinae) also has a bulging face. However, it can be seperated from genera of the subfamily Metopiinae which have a small triangular process between the antennae, and the malar space lacks a subocular groove.


Distribution in NZ

North Island: AK, HB [H. femoralis]. South Island: NN, SD, MC [ H. nelsonensis ].

Species in NZ

Two species: Hypsicera femoralis (Geoffroy 1785) an accidental introduction, and the endemic H. nelsonensis Berry 1990.

Biology & hosts

Hypsicera femoralis is found in North America, Africa, Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Japan, and Hawaii. It is an accidental introduction to New Zealand, and is often in buildings and it is assumed that is parasitises some stored-product moth, such as clothes moths (Gauld 1984). Collection records from New Zealand are all from urban areas, many from inside houses.

Hypsicera nelsonensis is endemic, and a parasitoid of the Raspberry budmoth Heterocrossa rubophaga (Lepidoptera: Carposinidae). It is uncommon.

Sources of information

Berry JA. 1990. The New Zealand species of the subfamily Metopiinae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 17: 607-614.
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 Hypsicera
Accessed: 24 January 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013