Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Lissopimpla Kriechbaumer 1889


Lissopimpla is a large-sized ichneumonid in New Zealand, and with its darkened wings make it very distinct.

Characteristics of Lissopimpla include: 1. Body size 10-20mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 at, close to, or before centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing triangulate; 4. Colour of face is not all black; 5. Metasoma compressed dorsal-ventrally; 6. Size of ocelli large or small; 7. Length of antennae is as long, or longer than body; 8. Length of ovipositor is distinct but not longer than body; 9. Wings present; 10. Colour of wings completely or almost completly infusciate (darkened); 11. Sternaulus long; more than 0.5x length mesopleuron; 12. Shape of face in lateral view flat or only 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. Patterns on metasoma: with colourful spots or stripes; 17. Length of T1 vs T2 subequal in length; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum smooth, very polished; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) of uniform width (slightly widening posteriorly); 20. Glymma on T1 present, (deep pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma punctured (sometimes less densly or densly punctured) but also smooth with a semi-glossy or satin appearance at least on T2; 22. Propodeum very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

Similarity to Other Taxa

Lissopimpla is a large-sized Ichneumonid in New Zealand. It is similar in size to: Rhyssa , Xanthocryptus , Echthromorpha , Ophion (1 species), Enicospilus , Eutanyacra , Ichneumon , Netelia , Ctenochares , and Degithina . It can be readily separated from other similar sized taxa by having very distinct darkened wings and also spots/bands on the metasoma.


Distribution in NZ

North Island: ND, AK, BP, CL, GB, HB, TK, TO, WA, WN, WO. South Island: NN, NC, SD. Offshore Islands: KE.

Species in NZ

One native species, Lissopimpla excelsa (Costa, 1864), also in Australia.

Biology & hosts

Lissopimpla excelsa also occurs in Australia, where it is relatively common. Gauld (1984) notes it can be observed probing with its ovipositor in grass tussocks in gardens. Males of L. excelsa are known to pollinate the orchid Cryptostylis leptochila by attempting to mate with the flowers (Gauld 1984), and that specimens may be found with the orchid pollinia attached to the tip of the gaster. Hence its common name, the Orchid Dupe Wasp.

Lissopimpla excelsa is widespread in the North Island and the top of the South Island, and it relatively common. Its hosts in New Zealand include: Orthoclydon praefactata , Pseudocoremia suavis (both Geometridae); Wiseana cervinata , W. umbraculata (both Hepialidae); and Mythimna separata (Noctuidae) (Valentine & Walker 1991).

Overseas records include many species from Anthelidae, Geometridae, Hepialidae, Noctuidae, and Pyralidae (all Lepidoptera) (Yu et al. 2005).

Sources of information

Gauld ID. 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 p.Valentine EW & Walker AK. 1991. Annotated Catalogue of New Zealand Hymenoptera. DSIR Plant Protection Report 4. General Printing Services, 84 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 Lissopimpla
Accessed: 14 August 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013