Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

ICHNEUMONIDAE: : Xenolytus Förster 1869


Characteristics of Xenolytus include: 1. Body size <10mm; 2. Position of spiracle on T1 clearly behind the centre; 3. Shape of aerolet in forewing pentagonal; 4. Colour of face black; 5. Metasoma compressed dorsal-ventrally; 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 (on mesopleuron) absent; 12. Shape of face in lateral view flat or only weakly bulging; 13. Sternite on T1 (viewed laterally) extending past spiracle sometimes forming a long cylinder with tergite; 14. Shape of T1 (viewed laterally)evenly curved; 15. Number of teeth in mandibles 2; 16. Patterns on metasoma bicoloured; 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 glossy appearance (highly polished, no punctures); 22. Propodeum length very short (not reaching beyond coxal insertion).

Other Characteristic: mesopleuron with wrinkled appearance.

Distribution in NZ

North Island: AK.

Species in NZ

One species: Xenolytus bitinctus (Gmelin 1790).

Biology & hosts

Xenolytus bitinctus has only been recorded from Auckland, and it is rarely collected. This species is widespread throughout the world and is associated with flour mills and grain, where it parasitises a variety of Microlepidoptera. Hosts include: Chrysoesthia (Gelechiidae); Bupalus piniarius (Geometridae); Monopis obviella , Monopis rusticella , and Tinea pallescentella (Tineidae) (Yu et al. 2005).

Sources of information

Gauld ID 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. London, British Museum (Natural History). 413 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 Xenolytus
Accessed: 13 July 2020


v1.0. Ward DF & Schnitzler FR. 2013