Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Temelucha Förster 1869


Characteristics of Temelucha include: 1. Body size <10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 of metasoma clearly behind the centre; 3. Aerolet in forewing is open (essentially a straight line); 4. Colour of face is not all black; 5. Metasoma compressed laterally; 6. Size of ocelli small; 7. Length of antennae shorter than body; 8. Length of ovipositor distinct but not longer than body; 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; 14. Shape of T1 (viewed laterally) evenly curved; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles 2; 16. Metasoma with ill-defined stripes; 17. Length of T1 vs T2 subequal in length; 18. Sculpture on mesoscutum finely pitted, many hairs; 19. Width of T1 (viewed dorsally) anterior part slender often parallel, strongly widening behind spiracle; 20. Glymma on T1 absent; 21. Sculpture on metasoma smooth with a semi-glossy or satin appearance at least on T2; 22. Propodeum reaching past coxal insertion, but not reaching halfway along metacoxae.

Distribution in NZ

South Island: NN, SD.

Species in NZ

One or two species, possibly one is undescribed native species, the other an undescribed biological control agent.

Biology & hosts

Temelucha is a very large genus found around the world, where it can be found amongst herbs, grasses and bushes (Gauld 1984). Some species attack agricultural pests in arable crops.

One species, Temelucha sp. “ platensis group ” was introduced and released in 1966-1967 to control the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), but it is unknown whether this has established (Cameron et al. 1989). Another species was imported to control the light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in 1969 but not released (Cameron et al. 1989).

There are very few specimens of this genus in the NZAC. One series of specimens were reared from the native Glyphipteryx iocheaera (Lepidoptera), in 1943 – pre-dating any introduction of biological control agents, and may thus be a native species.

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.
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 Temelucha
Accessed: 12 July 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013