Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Netelia Gray 1860


Characteristics of Netelia include: 1. Body size usally >20mm but sometimes 10-20mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 of metasoma is at, close to, or before centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing triangulate; 4. Colour of face is not all black; 5. Metasoma compressed laterally; 6. Size of ocelli large; 7. Length of antennae varies, shorter than body, as long, or longer than body; 8. Length of ovipositor distinct but quite short; 9. Wings present; 10. Colour of wings hyaline (clear); 11. Sternaulus varies from short; less than 0.5x length mesopleuron to 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. Metasoma same colour throughout; 17. Length of T1 longer than T2; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum smooth, very polished, and finely pitted, many hairs; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) of uniform width (slightly widening posteriorly); 20. Glymma on T1 present, (deep pit); 21. Sculpture on metasoma 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

Netelia is a large-sized Ichneumonid in New Zealand. It is similar in size to: Rhyssa , Lissopimpla , Echthromorpha , Ophion (1 species), Enicospilus , Eutanyacra , Ichneumon , Xanthocryptus , Ctenochares , and Degithina .


Distribution in NZ

North Island: ND, AK, BP, CL, HB, TK, TO, WI, WN, WO. South Island: NN, NC, SD, MB, MC, CO, FD, MK. Offshore Islands: KE, CH.

Species in NZ

Two species; the endemic Netelia ephippiata (Smith, 1876), and the native N. producta (Brullé, 1846), which is also found in Australia.

Biology & hosts

Netelia have a world-wide distribution and most species are uniformly reddish/brown that are nocturnally active (Gauld 1984). Species of Netelia are often widely distributed and can be very common. Gauld (1984) notes that when handled females can inflict a painful sting with their ovipositor.

Netelia species are highly vagile insects and can readily colonize over large distances (Gauld 1984), it is likely that N. producta colonised New Zealand from Australia this way.

Netelia are mostly parasitic on Lepidoptera. The host of Netelia ephippiata is the flax looper Orthoclydon praefactata (Geometridae). In New Zealand Netelia producta has been recorded from two Noctuidae; the northern armyworm Mythimna separata , and the southern armyworm Persectania aversa . However, host records for this species overseas also include Agrotis , other Persectania , Pseudaletia , Spodoptera (Noctuidae), and Pergagrapta polita (Hymenoptera: Pergidae) (Yu et al. 2005).

Sources of information

Gauld ID 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 p.
Parrott AW. 1951. New Zealand Ichneumonidae. I. The genus Netelia Gray. ( Paniscus of authors) (Tryphoninae: Phytodietini). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Zoology) 79: 286-293.
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 Netelia
Accessed: 12 August 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013