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Cirrospilus Westwood, 1832

C. sp., female C. sp., female
  C. pictus, female
















Fore wing with submarginal vein (SMV) with 3 or more setae dorsally. Postmarginal vein (PMV) present: at most 1.25 times longer than stigmal vein, often equal or shorter.
Scape slender and not exceeding apex of vertex. Club 3-segmented. Funicle 2-segmented in both sexes with usually 1-2 anelli.
Fronto-facial suture adjacent anterior ocellus; usually also a transverse short groove from eye margin to scrobal cavity about halfway between ocellus and torulus. Malar sulcus present and straight. In species of Cirrospilussensu strictu” the vertex is not vaulted: i.e. extends less than 1/3 of eye length above the eye. However, in the Cirrospilusvariegatus group” the vertex is vaulted: i.e. extends more than 1/3 of eye length above the eye.
Notauli always complete to posterior margin of mesoscutum (see C. ambiguus which is the only one species with notauli not reaching posterior margin of mesoscutum, but curving and extending to anterior margin of axilla). Propleura separated posteriorly and not covering prosternum. Scutellum with 2 pair of setae and with 1 pair of longitudinal grooves, although these may be sometimes faint and difficult to see. Propodeum usually with median carina, with or without plicae (plc). Petiole not distinct. Gaster with cercal setae short and subequal in length.
Coloration variable, from dark to metallic to non-metallic and yellow.




Cirrospilus is a large and widespread genus with over 130 species world wide (Noyes, 2001).




The species of this genus are mainly parasitoids or hyperparasitoids of leafminers, or of other small sheltered larvae or pupae. Some species are egg parasitoids (Boucek, 1988).



Cirrospilus may be distinguished from the other Cirrospilini included in the key, with which it shares funicle 2-segmented in both sexes, propleura separated posteriorly, submarginal vein with 3 or more setae dorsally and 2 pairs of scutellar setae, as follows: C. ambiguus, Danuviella, Diglyphus, Meruana and Zagrammosoma have the notauli incomplete, absent or curving to axillae, while in Cirrospilus they are complete and reach the posterior margin of mesoscutum. Moreover, Meruana, Danuviella and Semielacher have a distinct petiole; Zagrammosoma has a distinctly vaulted vertex; Diaulinopsis has the postmarginal vein longer than 1.25 times the length of the stigmal vein.
Within Cirrospilus the “variegatus group” of species may be distinguished by having the vertex vaulted, and having the pronotum elongate (over half the length of the mesoscutum).
Keys of this genus are available for the European (Boucek, 1959), British (Askew, 1968) and Chinese species (Zhu et al., 2002).


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October 2005
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