Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

July 2012 - Danielle N. Stringer, Sarah Mantel, John T. Jennings & Andrew D. Austin, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, and the School of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


The Eurytomidae are a medium-sized family, characterised by the pronotum large, rectangular, generally at least half the medial length of the mesoscutum and with prominent anterior corners; the dorsal thorax generally with coarse setiferous punctures; and the metasoma convex dorsally and well-sclerotised (non-collapsing). Most species are black or dark in colour and non-metallic.

The majority of eurytomids are parasitic, although a large number are phytophagous, feeding on seeds or boring in stems. Parasitic species are often associated with insect larval hosts hidden in plant tissue, such as stem-borers, seed-eaters or gall-formers. Several species have been recorded from spider (Araneae) and cicada (Hemiptera) eggs. Some species display a remarkable mixture of biologies. The larvae of some species start their development as parasitoids, but after their host is consumed they complete their development by feeding on plant tissue. Other species are facultative hyperparasitoids, and often have a very broad host range. Eurytomidae are interesting among the Chalcidoidea because they contain many pest species. The almond wasp, Eurytoma amygdali, is a key pest of almonds in the Palaearctic region, some Tetramesa species are cereal pests, and certain Bruchophagus species may be pests of legume crops. However, some of the phytophagous species can be beneficial, e.g. Eurytoma attiva, which has been used successfully for the control of the weed black sage (Cordia macrostachia) in Mauritius. A few eurytomid parasitoids have been used in biological control programs but without noticeable success. Keys to Australasian genera are included in Boucek (1988).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
07-Aug-2012 07-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
06-Feb-2012 MODIFIED