Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Lissonota Gravenhorst 1829


Characteristics of Lissonota include: 1. Body size varies but is ~10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 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 is sometimes compressed dorsal-ventrally; 6. Size of ocelli are small; 7. Length of antennae are as long, or longer than body; 8. Length of ovipositoris as long, or longer than body; 9. Wings present; 10. Colour of wings hyaline (clear); 11. Sternaulus absent; 12. Shape of face in lateral view is flat or only weakly bulging; 13. Sternite on T1 (viewed laterally not extending past spiracle; 14. Shape of T1 (viewed laterally) is evenly curved; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles: 2; 16. Patterns on metasoma is the same colour throughout; 17. Length of T1 subequal in length to T2 or sometimes longer than T2; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum is finely pitted, many hairs; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) of uniform width (slightly widening posteriorly); 20. Glymma on T1 present as a groove (not a deep pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma smooth with a semi-glossy or satin appearance at least on T2; 22. Propodeum length is very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

An additional technical character of Lissonota includes a lobe on the metapleuron which can be used to short-cut other characters.

Similarity to Other Taxa

Lissonota are mid-sized Ichneumonids in New Zealand. They are similar in size to: Dusona , Liotryphron , Habronyx , Phytodietus and Venturia . They can be separated from other similar-sized taxa by having the spiracle at or before the centre of T1, a glymma as a groove on T1, the ovipositor length long, a triangulate areolet in the forewing, and a lobe on the metapleuron.


Distribution in NZ

North Island: AK, BP, GB, HB, TO, WI, WN. South Island: NN, NC, SD, BR, MB, MC, DN, CO, OL, WD, FD, SI, MK, SL.

Species in NZ

Seven endemic species: Lissonota albopicta Smith, 1878; L. aspera Bain, 1970; L. atra Bain, 1970; L. comparata Cameron, 1898; L. flavopicta Smith, 1878; L. fulva Bain, 1970; L. multicolour Colenso, 1885.

Biology & hosts

Lissonota is an extremely large genus with several hundred described species worldwide, however, the taxonomy of the group at species level is very difficult (Gauld 1984).

Little is known about the biology of Lissonota in New Zealand, but L. flavopicta has been investigated for biological control of orchard leafrollers (Stephens et al. 1998). Despite being widespread and common, very few host records are known from Lissonota in New Zealand. L. flavopicta has been recorded from ‘Leptocroca’ scholaea (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae) and Eudonia sabulosella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) (Bain 1970).

Sources of information

Bain J. 1970. New Zealand species of Lissonota (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). New Zealand Entomologist 4: 80-87.
Gauld ID 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 p.
Gupta VK. 1987. The Ichneumonidae of the Indo-Australian area (Hymenoptera). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 41 (Part 1). 1-597 pp.
Stephens, M.J.; France, C.M.; Wratten, S.D.; Frampton, C. 1998. Enhancing biological control of leafrollers (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) by sowing buckwheat ( Fagopyrum esculentum ) in an orchard. Biocontrol Science and Technology 8: 547-558.
Valentine EW & Walker AK. 1991. Annotated Catalogue of New Zealand Hymenoptera. DSIR Plant Protection Report 4. General Printing Services, 84 pp.


Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013. Ichneumonidae of New Zealand. Genus Lissonota
Accessed: 8 August 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013