Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Lathrolestes Förster 1869


Characteristics of Lathrolestes include: 1. Body size <10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 at, close to, or before centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing triangulate to sub-petiolate; 4. Colour of face not all black; 5. Metasoma compressed dorsal-ventrally; 6. Size of ocelli small; 7. Length of antennae as long, or longer 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 flat or only weakly bulging; 13. Sternite on T1 (viewed laterally) not extending past spiracle; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles 2; 16. Metasoma with colourful spots or stripes; 17. Length of T1 vs T2 subequal in length or T1 longer than T2; 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); 20. Glymma on T1:groove (not pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma:smooth with a semi-glossy or satin appearance at least on T2; 22. Propodeum length:Propodeum very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

Distribution in NZ

North Island: AK. South Island: NN, MC, MK.

Species in NZ

One biological control agent Lathrolestes luteolator (Gravenhorst 1829).

Biology & hosts

This species was introduced into New Zealand as a biological control agent against the cherryslug, Caliroa cerasi (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). It has established and is reportedly widespread (Cameron et al. 1989), but there are very few specimens in the NZAC, and most from breeding for releases, rather than post-release. The species was released under the name Perilissus luteolator .

Overseas, it has been reared from other sawflies (Hymenoptera); Sterictiphora (Argidae); and Heterarthrus , Monsoma , Profenusa , Selandria , and other species of Caliroa (all Tenthredinidae) (Yu et al. 2005).

Sources of information

Cameron PJ, Hill RL, Bain J & Thomas WP. 1989. A Review of Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests and Weeds in New Zealand 1874-1987. Technical Communication No 10. CAB International Institute of Biological Control. DSIR Entomology Division. 424 p.
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 Lathrolestes
Accessed: 12 July 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013