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Key to Orussus species

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera;  Superfamily: Orussoidea; Family: Orussidae; Genus: Orussus)

ClassificationIdentification keys

1. Abdomen with terga 3-8 reddish-brown, contrasting with predominantly black head and thorax (a). Large, body length usually above 1 cm, at least in females 2


- Abdomen brown to black, no distinct colour difference with head and thorax (A). Smaller, body length in either sex usually not above 1 cm 3


2. White markings on frons elongate, extending above half the height of inner margins of eyes, not extending into malar space (a). Frons rugose, interspaces between pits carinate (b). Area between eye and postocular carina with confluent pits (c) Orussus abietinus


- White markings on frons comprise irregular blotches positioned on lower frons, extending less than half the height of the inner margins of the eyes (A), in male extending laterally onto the malar space. Frons densely pitted, pits with distinct interspaces (B). Area between eye and postocular carina with separated pits (C)  Orussus smithi


3. Frons ventrally with two adjacent white markings (a), antenomeres 4-6 extensively white (a). Femora and tibiae black with white markings  (b) Orussus unicolor


- Without white markings on frons or antennae (A). White markings absent on legs (C), or if present on both the femora and tibiae then either the legs or the mesosoma are reddish-brown (B) 4


4. Head with ocellar corona wide (a, b), distance between median ocellus and lateral most coronal tooth more than 2 x diameter of median ocellus (red bars) (a, b), dorsal most coronal teeth situated dorsal to lateral ocellus (a, b); posterior margin of mesoscutellum evenly rounded, semicircular in outline (c) 5


- Ocellar corona narrow, distance between median ocellus and lateral most coronal tooth less than 2 x the diameter of former (red bars) (A), dorsal most coronal tooth situated at level with lateral ocellus; mesoscutellum triangular, angled posteriorly (B) 7


5. Mesoscutum with weakly developed longitudinal carina medially (a); mesoscutellum with hindmargin not reaching anterior margin of metanotum, mesopostnotum continuous posteriorly (b); hind tibia with white spot proximally (male unknown) (c) Orussus spinifer


- Mesoscutum with distinct raised tubercle or carina medially (A); mesoscutellum with hindmargin reaching anterior margin of metanotum, subdividing mesopostnotum (B); hind tibia without white spot proximally (C) 6


6. Mesoscutellum flat (a) Orussus schoutedeni


- Mesoscutellum with raised tubercle (female unknown) (A)  Orussus scutator 



7. Hind tibia with 1415 dorsal pegs (a) 8


- Hind tibia with 511 dorsal pegs (A) 9


8. Antennomeres 12 reddish-brown, distinctly lighter coloured than remaining antennomeres  (except antennomere 10) (male unknown) (a, b) Orussus afer


- Antennomeres 12 dark brown, same colour as remaining antennomeres (male unknown) (A, B)  Orussus tessmanni


9. Mesoscutellum densely sculptured (a). Tibiae on all legs extensively reddish-brown (female unknown) (b) Orussus areolatus


- Mesoscutellum sparsely punctured, with broad shining interspaces (A). Tibiae on all legs predominantly blackish-brown, sometimes with yellow patches (B) 10


10. Both sexes with thorax brown or black, not differently coloured from other body parts (a, b) Orussus moroi


- Female with pronotum, mesonotum, and anterodorsal part of mesopleuron reddish-brown, contrasting with colour of other body parts (male unknown) (A, B) Orussus taorminensis


Vilhelmsen L. 2003. Phylogeny and classification of the Orussidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera), a basal parasitic wasp taxon. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 139: 337-418.

Vilhelmsen L, Blank SM, Sechi D, Ndiaye MM, Niang AA & van Noort S. The Orussidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Africa.


Photographs Lars Vilhelmsen (Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen) or photographs Stephen M. Blank (Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut) or photographs Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2021. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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