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Orussus Latreille

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

Orussus Latreille, 1796. Type species:

ClassificationIdentification keys

  Orussus abietinus (Scopoli, 1763)
Orussus afer Guiglia, 1937
  Orussus areolatus Blank & Vilhelmsen, 2014
  Orussus moroi Guiglia, 1954
Orussus schoutedeni Guiglia, 1937
Orussus scutator (Benson, 1955)

Orussus smithi Blank, Kraus & Taeger, 2006

  Orussus spinifer (Benson, 1955)
  Orussus taorminensis Trautmann, 1922
  Orussus tessmanni Enslin, 1913
  Orussus unicolor Latreille, 1811


Afrotropical, Oriental and Palaearctic regions.


Ectoparasites of woodboring insect larvae, usually Buprestidae (Coleoptera). Females make use of echolocation to locate hosts and hence oviposition is restricted to dry, bark-free wood (Vilhelmsen et al., 2001;Vilhelmsen, 2003).



Benson, R.B. 1955. Classification of the Orussidae with some new genera and species (Hymenoptera: Symphyta). Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London 24: 13–23.

Blank S.M., Kraus M. & Taeger A. 2006. Orussus smithi sp. n. and notes on other West Palaearctic Orussidae (Hymenoptera). In: Blank S. M., Schmidt S. & Taeger A. (Eds.) Recent Sawfly Research: Synthesis and Prospects. Goecke & Evers, Keltern, pp. 265–278.

Enslin, E. 1913. Zoologische Ergebnisse der Expedition G. Tessmanns nach Süd-Kamerun und Spanisch-Guinea. Mitteilungen des Zoologisches Museum Berlin 7: 104–114.

Guiglia D. 1937. Il gen. Oryssus in Africa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria 59: 411–419 + 2 plts.
Guiglia D. 1954. Gli Orussidi d’Europa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria 68: 1–20.

Latreille P.A. 1811. Orysse. In: Olivier M, ed. Encyclopédie méthodique, Tome 8. Histoire naturelle. Insectes. Paris, 557–561.

Lelej A.S. & Taeger A. 2007. 12. Sem. Orussidae – Orussidy. In: Lelej A.S. (ed.). Setchatokryloobraznye, skorpionnicy, pereponchatokrylye. Ch. 5. [Neuropteroidea, Mecoptera, Hymenoptera. Pt 5.]. Opredelitel' nasekomykh Dal'nego Vostoka Rossii. [Key to the insects of Russian Far East]. Vladivostok: Dal'nauka 4: 961.

Scopoli J.A. 1763. Entomologia Carniolica exhibens insect Carnioliae indigena et distributa in ordines genera, species, varietales methodo Linnaeana. Wien: I. T. Trattner.

Taeger A., Blank S.M. & Liston A.D. 2006. European Sawflies (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) – A Species Checklist for the Countries. In: Blank S.M., Schmidt S. & Taeger A. (eds.). Recent Sawfly Research: Synthesis and Prospects. Goecke & Evers, Keltern, pp. 399–504.

Trautmann W. 1922. Ein neuer paläarktischer Oryssus (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift [1922]: 322–323.

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. 2004. The old wasp and the tree: fossils, phylogeny and biogeography in the Orussidae (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 82: 139-160.

Vilhelmsen, L. 2007. The phylogeny of Orussidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) revisited. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 65 (2): 111-118.

Vilhelmsen L, Isidoro N, Romani R, Basibuyuk HH, Quicke DLJ. 2001. Host location and oviposition in a basal group of parasitic wasps: the subgenual organ, ovipositor apparatus, and associated structures in the Orussidae (Hymenoptera, Insecta). Zoomorphology 121: 63–84.

Vilhelmsen, L., Blank S.M., Liu, Z.-W. & Smith, D.R. 2013. Discovery of new species confirms Oriental origin of Orussus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Orussidae). Insect Systematics & Evolution 44: 1-41.

Vilhelmsen L, Blank SM, Sechi D, Ndiaye MM, Niang AA, Guisse A, van Noort S. 2017. The Orussidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Africa. Proceedings of the American Entomological Society 119: 879- 930. https://doi.org/10.4289/0013-8797.119.SpecialIssue.879


Photographs © Simon van Noort & Natural History Museum, London.

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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