Hymenoptera: India

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Faunal Diversity in India: Hymenoptera

This is an extract from


Edited by

J. R. B. Alfred

A. K. Das

A. K. Sanyal.

ENVIS Centre,

Zoological Survey of India,



( J. R. B. Alfred was

Director, Zoological Survey of India)


The order Hymenoptera evolved during Jurassic period in Mesozoic era, about 155 million years ago. This order is listed as third in point of size, but it has been little studied as compared to beetles (Coleoptera) and moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera). If all the unnamed species of hymenoptera are once thoroughly studied, it would be surpassing these orders. The order exhibits instinctive behaviour in its highest state of perfection. The members of this order are economically, medically and biologically important. In the class Insecta, the order Hymenoptera stands out for its greater bio-diversity, utilizing the environment fully and at the same time controlling other Insects.This seems to be caused by the highly specialized morphological features which gave rise to the order. The body of the members of this order is covered by a hard and strong cuticle, except the mobile joints, which are covered by soft membrane. The head, which bears the main sense organs, strong mandibles, slightly movable accessory palps, tongue and mouth parts, moves independently of the thorax. The thorax has six strong appendages and four membraneous wings, the hind pair being somewhat smaller. Hind wings are held to the fore wings by a row of tiny hooks on the front margin which catch in a fold of the fore wings. They are strong fliers, though the wings are not very large in proportion to the size of the body. The females of some species are wingless. The abdoman is also covered with chitinous plates but is capable of some movement. The members of this order have true sting. The sting is usually the modified ovipositor of the females; males are without a sting. The order Hymenoptera is so specialized and diversified that the members of this order show greater adaptation to their environment. The primitive Hymenoptera are phytophagous. Their larvae feed mainly on plant food externally or internally such as Sawflies. Some phytophagous forms lay eggs inside plant tissue and form galls, their larvae draw nourishment from the plant tissue inside the gall (Cynipidae). The second category is social Hymenoptera.

All the ants, wasps and bees form their own colonies leading a complex, sOCial and co-operative life. The third diversified group of Hymenoptera includes Entomophagous insects-Parasites and Predators.

Status Of The Taxon

Global and Indian Status

The order Hymenoptera, with about 1,20,000 known species, ranks third among the five major orders of class Insecta. However, it is estimated that there are actually 2,00,000 species. Of these about 20,000 species belong to superfamily Apoidea (Bees) and 60,000 species belong to 1,250 genera of 26 subfamilies of parasitic family Ichneumonidae. The Chalcidoids is said to be much bigger group than these two, besides several thousand species under Aculeate Hymenoptera (Superfamilies : Bethyloidea, Scolioidea, Fortnicoidea, Vespoidea, Sphecoidea, etc.). It is estimated that about 10,000 species of Hymenoptera are found in India, which is about 8.3% of the total species of Hymenoptera in the world fauna. India is unique as far as its bio-diversity is concerned. Varied climatic conditions from the high Himalayas to plains, deserts, east and west coastal climates and mangroves allow various species to thrive abundantly.


The members of order Hymenoptera are widely distributed in all the eco¬systems of India. As already stated, the members of this order show great diversity in their morphological characters, acquired according to the habitat they live in. The distribution data demonstrates very clearly that the affinities of the Indian texa are entirely with the taxa of Oriental Region. However, the taxa distributed along the Himalayan region show affinities with the taxa of Palaearctic Region. The taxa of South India show greater affinities with Sri Lankan taxa and the taxa of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are related to Indonesian taxa.

It is of great interest that more than 60% of the taxa are distributed in the Himalayan region from Kashmir in North-West to Nagaland in North-East, about 20% in the hilly regions of Eastern and Western ghats and remaining 20% in the plains of Central and North India. This shows that there is a quantitative abundance of some species of bees, wasps, ants and some parasitic species of crop pests in the plains, whereas, there is greater biodiversity of species in the hills where there is an abWldance of variety of faWla and flora. There is no consolidated accoWlt of distribution of species of Hymenoptera of India available to the author, however, on the basis of surveys conducted by the Zoological Survey of India, more taxa were recorded from the hilly and densely forested areas of India. The species in the plains are also abWldant during certain seasons but number of taxa are less, representing largely common species.

It is estimated that approximately more than 25% of the Indian Hymenopteran diversity still awaits discovery, e.g., in the family Ichneumonidae (Parasitic Hymenoptera), of the 1200 species/subspecies known, about 250 species (20%) have been discovered by Jonathan et al. during the last 15 years.

Biological Diversity And Its Special Features

The order Hymenoptera, is diversified on the basis of food and feeding habits, social behaviour and adaptation to the environment. The order is divided into two suborders, namely, (a) Symphyta and (b) Apocrita. In Symphyta the abdomen is broadly attached to the thorax, with no marked constriction between thorax and abdomen whereas in Apocrita the abdomen is attached to the thorax with a narrow segment called pedicel. (A) SUBORDER SYMPHYTA The suborder Symphyta is divided into 4 superfamilies, viz., Siricoidea, Xyeloidea, Cephoidea and Tenthredinoidea. Superfamily I -SIRICOIDEA This superfamily is known by two families, viz., Siricidae and Orussidae. The family Siricidae is known by 85 species belonging to 9 genera in the world. In India, only 5 species have been recorded. The members of family Orussidae seem to be ectoparasitoids on Buprestid larvae. Excepting the ovipositor and veins in the wings, they resemble Siricidae and they will probably form a link between Symphyta and Apocrita. The Orussidae is known by 66 species belonging to 14 genera from the world, and only 3 species are known from India. Superfamily II -XYELOIDEA This superfamily includes one family Xyelidae. The family xyeJidae is represented by 15 species Wlder 5 genera from the worlld. Of these 2 species are known from India only. lONATHAN : Hymenoptera Superfamily III -CEPHOIDEA This superfamily is represented by a single family Cephidae having about 100 species under 13 genera in the world fauna. On~y 5 species have been recorded under this family from India. Superfamily IV -TENTHREDINOIDEA The superfamily Tenthredinoidea includes 6 families, viz., Argidae, Cimbicidae, Diprionidae, Tenthredinidae, Blasticotomidae and Pergidae. The last two families are not recorded from India. The Tenethredinoidea is known from India by nearly 200 species, whereas over 2000 species were recorded from the world. (B) Suborder -APOCRITA The suborder Apocrita is divided into two divisions, viz., Aculeata and Parasitica. Division (I) Aculeata is represented by six superfamilies, viz., Bethyloidea, Scolioidea, Formicoidea, Pompiloidea, Vespoidea, Sphecoidea and Apoidea. Superfamily V -BETHYLOIDEA The superfamily Bethyloidea includes 5 families, viz., Scelogibbidae, Dryinidae, Chrysididae, Bethylidae and Cleptidae. This superfamily is known by more than 200 species in India and over 1500 species in the world fauna. Superfamily VI -SCOLIOIDEA The superfamily Scolioidea is represented by 4 families, viz., Scoliidae, Tiphiidae, Mutillidae and Sapygidae. In India, the superfamily is represented by 500 species, whereas in the world by over 1250 species. Superfamily VII -FORMICOIDEA The superfamily Formicoidea includes a single family, Formicidae. The family Formicidae is one of largest families of Hymenoptera. This family is known by over 500 species in India. In the world fauna there are more than 2500 species. Superfamily VIII -POMPILOIDEA The superfamily Pompiloidea is represented by two families, viz., Pompilidae and Rhopalosomatidae. Pompilidae is a moderatly large family and Rhopalosomatidae is a small family with a few species known from the world. Pompilidae is known by 150 species under 33 genera from India. Faunal Diversity in India Superfamily IX -VESPOIDEA This superfamily includes 3 families, viz., Masaridae, Eumenidae and Vespidae. These families are represented in India by about 225 species under 25 genera, and in the world by over 600 species. Superfamily X-SPHECOIDEA This superfamily is represented by a single family Sphecidae. The family Sphecidae is further divided into 9 subfamilies. This is a moderately large family, more than 1500 species are known from the world and 450 species from India, but this is only a fraction of those awaiting discovery. Superfamily XI -APOIDEA Included in this superfamily are the social and solitary bees. The truly social species, which have evolved worker caste, are confined to Helictidae and Apidae, the great majority of forms being solitary. The Apoidea is divided into several small and large families, the important ones are Apidae, Colletidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, Anthophoridae, Xylocopidae, Bombyliidae, Bremidae, Ceratinidae and Nomidae. In India, this superfamily is represented by about 450 species, which is only a fraction of those undiscovered species. Division (II) Parasitica is represented by 6 superfamilies, viz., Trigonoloidea, Ichneumonoidea, Evanioidea, Cynipoidea, Chalcidoidea and Proctotrupoidea. Superfamily XI -TRIGONALOIDEA This superfamily includes family Trigonalidae, which is a small family of rare but widely distributed species. The number of species in India and world over are not correctly known. Superfamily XII-ICHNEUMONOIDEA This superfamily includes two main families, viz., Ichneumonidae and Braconidae. The family Ichneumonidae is represented in India by 1200 species and subspecies under 337 genera and 23 subfamilies. The family Braconidae has 17 subfamilies and includes 250 species from India, whereas there are over 7000 species in the world fauna. Superfamily XIU -EVANIOIDEA Evanioidea includes 3 families, viz., Evaniidae, Gasteruptidae and Aulacidae. There are about 50 species under these families from India and about 350 species are reported from the world.

Superfamily XIV -CYNIPOIDEA Cynipoidea includes 4 families, viz., Ibaliidae, Liopteridae, Figitidae and Cynipide. Cynipoids are of great interest as the various species are either gall-makers of parasites. In this superfamily about 1600 species are included. There are about 50 unconfirmed species from India under this superfamily. Superfamily XV -CHALCIDOIDEA This is one of the largest superfamilies of the order Hymenoptera. This superfamily includes 11 families, viz., Agaontidae, Chalcididae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Mymaridae, Perilampidae, Pteromalidae, Torymidae and Trichogrammatidae. In India this superfamily is known by over 100 species, whereas over 30,000 species are recorded from the world fauna. Superfamily XVI -PROCTOTRUPOIDEA This. superfamily includes 7 families, viz., Proctotrupidae, Roproniidae, Heloridae, Diapriidae, Ceraphronidae, Scelionidae and Platygasteridae. This superfamily is poorly known from India, about 100 species are recorded from India and about 2000 species are known to occur in the world.

Endemic And Introduced Species

There is a high degree of endemicity of species in the order Hymenoptera in India. Most of the species recorded in India and adjacent countries are not recorded from other geographical regions. A total of about 90% species are endemic to India and remaining 10% are either introduced from other far¬off geographic regions or have entered into Indian region, where Oriental and Palaearctic fauna are intermixing in the Himalayan region. The correct number of threatened or endangered species is not exactly known. However, it is evident that some species which were common in certain areas are not recorded in recent times.


Most members of the family Apidae (e.g., Megapis dOTsata, Apis indica and several other species of solitary bees) are plant pollinators, and abundance of fauna and flora of a particular area largely depends on the activities of these bees. Therefore, these bees are known as "indicator species." There are several species of Hymenoptera which are predators and parasites, and any increase or decrease in their population is an indicator of the population of noxious (harmful) species. These noxious or pests species usually belong to other insect order. However, some species of Hymenoptera are also harmful or considered pests species of forests and crops. The members of families Siricidae and Tenthredinidae lay their eggs in the soft plant tissues, stem, leaf or fruit, and produce galls for the purpose of providing shelter and nutrient to their off spring. To check their undue increase, they have natural hymenopteran enemies. For example, Rhyssa persuasoria himalayensis, a well known Ichneumonid parasite, has been successfully utilized in the control of conifer infesting sircid pest-Sirex imperialis. All such Hymenopteran species are considered 'indicator species" because their absence or abundance is considered as an indicator on which the existence of host-plant, pest, predators or parasite depends. This order includes many economically important species: the parasites of noxious species of insects, efficient plant pollinators and the only honey producers. There are a few pest species, usually ants and sawflies.

Honey producers: Of the many species of insects, only two, the silkworms and the honey bees have been domesticated. The honey produced by honey bees is a wholesome food for man from time immemorial. The honey bees also produce bee wax which is extensively used in industry and medicine. Moreover, bee-poison, i.e., posion from the sting of honey bee is used in various ailments in human beings. Pollinators: In the higher plants sexual reproduction is made possible by the process known as Pollination. The pollination depends mainly upon the visits of these insects to carry the pollen from one flower to another. More than 100 species of bees are recognised as pollinators.

Parasites and Predators: There is no doubt that the greatest single factor in keeping the plant feeding insects from overwhelming the rest of the world is that they are fed upon by other insects. The predatory hymenopteran larvae consume more than one individual in order to reach the adult stage, on the other hand parasitic hymenopteran larval stage develops at the expense of a single individual (host). By their parasitic and predatory habits they destroy large number of agricultural and forests pests and thus constitutes one of the major forces for preventing the undue increase of noxious species. In other words, these insects help in biological control of insect pests.

Destructive Hymenoptera There are a few insects which have proved themselves more persistantly exasperating to human being. Every one is familier with the fact that when ants have invaded houses, the ant workers will be found crawling over every food that is their liking, bits of which they cut off and carry to their nests. The sawflies (family Tenthredinidae) and hom tails (family Siricidae) are the outstanding pests of coniferous trees. They periodically defoliate these trees in hills. Sawflies of various species attack a wide range of trees and shrubs and even grasses. In all cases, the larvae devour the foliage.


The evils of human activities, specially during the past few decades have caused deliberate damage to the environment and the biosphere. Human activities have annihilated many of the habitats, which lead to the decline in the population of certain species. There are other reasons such as urbanisation, agricultural conversion, loss of host, over collecting and pesticides, which are responsible for the very existance of large number of species of this economically important order Hymenoptera.


It is understood now that with the ever-increasing loss of the habitats resulting from forestry, agriculture, industrial, urban and other developmental programmes, the collection of insect fauna should be considered in the interest of conservation of the insect fauna, particularly Hymenoptera. It is expected that entomologists should try to observe the follOWing: 1 No more specimens than required should be killed. 2 Common species should not be killed; specimens should be examined alive and released in the same habitat. 3 Supposed or actual parasites and predators should not be destroyed. 4 When collecting, never collect whatever is available, leave as many as possible to allow the population to recover. 5 For commercial purposes, insects should be either bred or obtained from old collections. 6 Collecttors should attempt to break new grounds rather than collect a local or rare species from a well known and perhaps over worked area. 7 Unwanted specimens shouldn't be fed to birds or animals.

Faunal Diversity in India

8. If a trap used to collect specimens, is found to be catching rare or local common species, it should be resisted.

9. When collecting on nature reserves, supply a list of species collected to the appropriate authority.

10. Do as little damage to the environment as possible, protect vegetation and rare plant species.

11. Overturned stones and logs should be replaced in their original positions.

12. Breeding from a fertilised female or pairing in captivity is preferable to taking a series of specimens to the field.

13. Unwanted species that have been rared should be released in the original locality, not just anywhere.

14. Germplasm of economically important species need to be preserved. There are many strains of honeybees, and there is great variation within the strains for characteristics such as honey production and disease resistance.

Future Studies

1 For collector the awareness of the need for conservation is required. 2 A responsible attitude towards collecting by all entomologists will make collecting respectable. 3 Dynamic preservation of species populations and 'habitats' 4 Thoughtless or selfish behaviour of a collector reflects upon the credibility of all collectors, and is consequently damaging in entomology. 5 Code for Insect collecting is to be taken in conjunction with lists of schedule of Rare and Endangered species. 6 Status of the species should be known. 7 Entomologists and conservationists need each other to resist the many strong forces which are opposed to the interests of both.

Selected References

Bingham, CT, 1897, The fauna of India, Hymenoptera, 1: 1-564. Bingham, CT, 1903, The Fauna of India, Hymenoptera, 2 : 1-496. Chhotani, O. B. & K. K. Ray, 1975, Fallna of Rajastll/ln, India, 71 : 13-49. Dalla-Torre, C G., 1896-1897, Cat. Hymenopterorum, Apidae, 10 : 1-643; Sphegidae, 8: 1-797. Insect : Year Book of Agriculture, Oxford and IBH Publication Co., New Delhi 1952 : 1-780.


This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book was an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, Indpaedia.com your help will be gratefully acknowledged.


The order Hymenoptera appeared on this planet during Jurassic period in Mesozoic era, ca. 155 million years ago, alongwith Dermaptera. The fonner is highly evolved in comparison to other insects and is considered as the third largest insect order. They are economically, medically and biologically important. Bees pollinate flowers, collect nectar and store honey and wax in bee hive. Honey is used for feeding and medical purpose; wasp larvae and ant eggs are used for fish bait in angling. The ants show a developed way of social living through polymorphism, in their nest with colony of male, female and workers. They also maintain relations with other insects either as parasites, or harbour in their nests, as with termites. Braconids are used for pest control in agricultural fields and horticultural gardens. Scolid wasp larvae are used to control the population of some beetles. Chalcids bore and damage rice and wheat stems, whereas Cynipids produce galls in plant tissues and retard their growth.

Hymenopterans are colourful also, e.g. wasps and bees; a few are metallic in Chalcids and Cynipids. These insects become pest and damage the plants, when they aggregate in large numbers, as in the case of Carpenter bee, Red ant and Sawfly. The number of Hymenopterous insects is over 100,000 species known from the world, while only about 5,000 species are recorded from India. Parthenogenesis is common in Hymenoptera than in other orders of insects. Though most of the Hymenopterans are entomophagus and parasites, some of them are phytophagus (sawflies). While the bees feed on nectar, .the ants live on sweet granules. The size of Hymenopterous insects may vary from 0.2mm to 50.0mm in length.

They are soft to hard bodied insects, with mobile head, long-jointed antennae; antennae may be short, clubbed and elbowed as in Chalcids. They possess two pairs of veined or almost veinless wings in Chalcids or may be wingless, as in worker ants; mouth parts (with mandibles) are well developed for sucking and piercing. In most of these insects a constriction lies between thorax and abdomen, but it may be absent in some e~. Sawflies. Female hymenopteran insects are furnished with ovipositors having stings or saws. Larvae of Hymenoptera &re apodous or polypodous.

Historical Resume

From the beginning of human civilization, man observed the hovering of bees on flowers for pollen and nectar. Their swarming in bee hive for storing honey, making of tree holes by carpenter bees for their nests, and building of papery nests by hornets on tree branches are common sight. The bitter experience of sting by wasp or bee and severe burning irritations by red ants are also common. All these factors attracted naturalists and paved the path for further study of these valuable insects in later years.

i) Pre-1900

Studies on Hymenoptera can be traced back from the published work by Cameron (1877) on Tenthredinidae. Dalla-Torre (1894-1896) published in 10 volumes as "Catalogus Hymenopterorum" Afterwards, Bingham (1897) brought out his monographic Vol. I, of the 'Fauna of British India' dealing with species of wasps and bees. Still later, Ashmead (1899) published his work on Apterogyna (Mutillidae) and its allies.

ii) 1901-1947

Bingham (1903) published his Vol.II, of the 'Fauna of British India', covering 'ants' (Formicidae) and cuckoo wasps (Chrysididae). Turner (1912) brought out a monograph on Indian species of Cerceris (Sphecoidea) and Elis (Scoloidea). Subsequently Morley (1913) published the monographic Fauna volume III, for British Indian species on Ichnenmonoidea. Rohwer (1915) published the work on Tenthredinidae and Ayyar (1924) made a checklist ofchalcids (Chalcidoidea). Emery (1925) brought out the catalogue on world Formicidae. In later years, Wilkinson (1928) made some papers on Braconidae, Maa (1938) published a,work on Xylocopa (Apoidea). Mani (1938) did a monographic work for the catalogue ora chalcids and Soika (1947) made a revisionary work on Eumenes (Vespoidea).

ii) 1948-1990

Chapman and Capco (1951) published a checklist of Asian ants. Van der Vecht (1952) did some work on Oriental Ceratina (Apoidea). Alam (1952) brought out a work on biology of Stenobracon deesae (family: Braconidae). Kurian (1954) worked on Oriental Bethyloidea, Nixon (1965) published the reclassification of Microgasterinae (Braconidae). Linsenmair (1968) revised the family Chrysididae. Mani et al., (1973) brought out some publications on Chalcidoidea. Sharma (1982) recorded several Indian species on Braconidae. Saraswat (1982) worked on Scelionids (Proctotrupoidea) and Mani (1989) made his monographic volume in 'Fauna' series on Chalcidoidea.

Studies from Different Environs

Studies on Hymenoptera along with other insects, were carried out in India, even during the pre independent period by the entomologists from different ecosystems, like agricultural fields, horticultural gardens, forests, and other plantations and the results were published in differen~ scientific journals. Since 1907 study on the group was initiated by the scientists of the Indian Museum and later Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Based on the collections brought from different ecosystems a number of papers were published. In recent times collections of Hymenopteran insects have been made from Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Tripura, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Is.

Classified Treatment and Estimation of Taxa

the Order Hymenoptera is divided into two suborders: Apocrita and Symphyta.

A. Apocrita : With a narrow constriction of body between thorax and abdomen and having 11 superfamilies (Apoidea, Vespoidea, Scoloidea, Formicoidea, Ichneumonoidea, Chalcidoidea, Bethyloidca, Cynipoidea, Evanoidea, Proctotrupoidea and Ceraphronoidea). Superfamily I. Apoidea

This superfamily includes 11 families namely Apidae, Andrenidae, Anthophoridae, Bombyliidae, Bremidae, Ceratinidae, Colletidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, Nomidae and Xylocopidae. In India, Apoidea is represented by over 350 species and in the world by about 100,000 species. Superfamily II. Vespoidea

The superfamily includes 3 families, namely Eumenidae, Vespidae and Masaridae. In India, Vespoidea is known by 200 species' and in the world by over 600 species. Superfamily III. Scoloidea

Scoloidea is represented by 5 families, namely Mutillidae, Pompiliilae, Scoliidae, Sphecidae and Thynnidae. In India, the superfamily is represented by over 600 species whereas in the world by over 1,500 species.

Areas surveyed for Hymenoptera

Superfamily IV. Formicoidea

Formicoidea includes the family Formiciclae with 5 subfamilies namely Componotinae, Dorylinae, Dolichoderinae, Myrmecinae and Ponerinae. In India, Formicoidea is known by over 500 species, whereas species recorded from the world is over 2,000. Superfamily V. Ichneumonoidea

Ichneumonoidea includes 2 families, Ichneumomidae (dealt separately in this volume) and Braconidae. The latter has 17 subfamilies; viz., Agathidinae, Alysinae, Aphidinae, B•raconinae, Calyptinae, Cheloninae, Cosmophorinae, Doryctinae, Eulophorinae, Exothecinae, Helconinae, Hybrizoninae, Macrocentrinae, Microgasterinae, Mymagathidinae, Neoneurinae and Rogadininae. Braconidae is known by 250 species in India, whereas from the world it is represented by over 7,000 species. Superfamily VI. Chalcidoidea

This superfamily includes 11 families; viz., Agaontidae, Chalcididae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Mymaridae, Perilampidae, Pteromalidae, Torymidae and Trichogrammatidae. In India, Chalcidoidea is known by over 1039 species, whereas over 30,000 species are recorded from the world. Superfamily VII. Bethyloidea

Bethyloidea includes 6 families, viz., Chrysididae, Bethylidae, Dryinidae, Emboleneidae, Loboscelidae and Scelogibbidae. In India, over 200 species and from the world•over 2,000 species were reported. Superfamily VIII. Prototrupoidea

This superfamily includes 7 families; viz., Proctotrupidae, Scelionidae, Diapriidae, Heloridae, Pelecinidae, Roproniidae and Vanhorniidae. In India, Proctotrupoidea is known by nearly 100 species, whereas over 2,000 species, were recorded from the world. . Superfamily IX. Cynipoidea

Cynipoidea includes 4 families; namely Cynipidae, Figitidae, Ibatiidae and Liopteridae. This superfamily includes nearly 50 species described from India and approximately 500 species reported from the world. Superfamily X. Evanoidea

Evanoidea includes 3 families: viz., Evaniidae, Gasteruptidae and Aulacidae. In India, the superfamily is known by nearly SO species, whereas from the world approximately 350 species were recorded. Superfamily XI. Ceraphronoidea

The superfamily is known by a single family Ceraphronidae. In India, it is represented by 5 species and in the world by 35 species.

B. Symphyta : With a broad constriction of body between thorax and abdomen and having four superfamilies; viz., Tenthredinoidea, Cephoidea, Megalodontoidea and Siricoidea. Superfamily I. Tenthredinoidea

The superfamily includes 6 families; viz., Tenthredinidae, Argiidae, Blasticotonidae, Cimbicidae, Diprionidae and Pergidae. Tenthredinoidea is known from India by nearly 200 species. whereas over 2,000 species were recorded from the world. Superfamily II. Cephoidea

Cephoidea is known by a single family Cephidae and includes 5 species from India ana about 100 species belonging to 13 genera from the world. Superfamily In. Megalodontoidea

The superfamily includes one family Xyelidae of which 2 species are known from India •and 15 species belonging to 5 genera are known from the world. Superfamily IV. S iricoidea

Siridoidea is known by two families viz., Siricidae and Orussidae. Siricidae is known from India by 5 species and from the world by 85 species belonging to 9 genera; whereas in Orussidae 3 species are known from India and 66 species belonging to 14 genera from the world.

Cutrent Studies

Studies on Hymenoptora are currently being carried out by the scientists of the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, based on collections from different ecozones. Outside Zoological Survey of India, studies are being carried out in the State Agricultural f~m, Chinsura (Hooghly); Agricultural Research Institute (under ICAR), Barrackpore (North 24':Parganas); North Bengal University (Zoology Deparunent), Darjeeling and Agricultural University, Kalyani (Nadia); all in West Bengal; Genda Singh Sugarcane Breeding and Research Institute (Deoria), Pantnagar Krishi Viswavidyalaya (Nainital) both in U.P.; Punjabi University (Zoology Department), Patiala, Punjab; International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (patancheru), Andhra Pradesh; Rice Research Institute (Cuttack), Orissa; Loyola College (Zoology Dept.), Madras, Tamil Nadu; Calicut University (Zoology Dept.), Kerala and Rajrishi Autonomous College (Zoology Dept.), Alwar, Rajasthan.

Expertise India


J. K. Jonathan, K. K. Ray, S. B. Roy, R.N. Tiwari [Formicidae], B. G. Kundu, S. Roychowdhuri, S. N. Ghosh, all of ZSI., M-Block, New Alipore, Calcutta-700053.

S. K. Gupta, ZSI, Northern Regional Station, 218, Kaulagarh Road, Debra Dun, U.P. [Scoliidae ].


M. S. Mani, Department ofZoology, Presidency College, Madras. [Chalcidoidea]. S. I. Farooqui, Division of Entomology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-12. [Pteromalidae] .

K. J. Joseph, Agricultural University, Vellanikkara, Trichur-680654, Kerala. [Chalcidoidea]. T. C. Narendran, University of Calicut, Calicut 673635 Kerala. [Chalcidoidea].

Sujauddin, Depu. of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202001. [Aphididae]. S. A. Shafee, Section of Entomology, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 20200 1.

S. K. Sharma, SL John's College, Agra 282002. [Scelionidae]. V. Sharma, Department of Zoology, Jodhpur University, Rajasthan. [Braconidae]. D. Singh, Department of Zoology, Punjabi University, Patiala 147002. [Tenthredinidae]. R. K. Gupta, Department of Zoology, Rajrishi Autonomous College, Alwar 301001 Rajasthan. [Megachilidae].


B. R. Subba Rao, Commoflwealth Institute of Entomology~ British Museum Natural History, London, England. [Chalcidoidea].

B. Patterson, Universitets Zoologiske Museum, Kombenhan, Denmark. [Aculeate Hymenoptera].

J. G. Betrem, 65, Rubensstraat, Venentar, Holland. [Scoliidae].

R. D. Shenefelt, Department of EntQmology, Russel Laboratories, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, U.S.A. [BraconidaeJ.

D. L. J. Quicke, Department of Zoology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S 10 21N, U.K. [BraconidaeJ.

Selected References

Bingham, C. T. 1897.: The Fauna ofBritish India. Hymemoptera, 1 : 1-564.

Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna ofBritish India. Hy~noptera, 1 : 1-496. Chhotani, O. B. &Ray, K. K. 1975. Fauna of Rajasthan, India, Hymenoptera, Rec. zool. SJUV.

India, 71 : 13-49. Dalla-Torre, C. o. 1896-1897. Catalogues Hymenopterorum, Apidae 10 : 1-643; Sphogidae,8 : 1-797. Maa. T. C. 1938. The Indian Species of the Genus Xylocopa Latr. (}lymenoptera), Rec. Indian Mus., 40': 265-329. Mani. M. S. 1989. The Fauna ofIndia and adjacent countries: Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera), Pt.I : 1-1067; Pt.II : 1-1633. Shenefelt. R.D. 1910, 1913. 1976. Hymenopterorum Catalogus (Braconidae), Pt.3 (1973) : 307¬428; Pt.l0. (1973) : 813-936; Pt.13 (1976) : 1264-1424.

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