Chrysis ignita, copyright Louise Hislop.

Belongs within: Chrysididae.

Chrysis is a genus of cuckoo-wasps parasitic on fossorial and other wasps, many species of which have prominent teeth on the apical margin of the abdomen (Bingham 1903).

Characters (from Bingham 1903): Female with head varying in shape, triangular or subtriangular, rounded and convex above, occasionally globose, sometimes broader than long, rarely quadrate; mandibles pointed at apex or bidentate; clypeus generally broad, often subporrect medially or emarginate anteriorly; face up to front below anterior ocellus and between eyes generally hollow, forming facial cavity in which antennae are folded at rest; antennae of male and female simple, generally cylindrical; scape moderately long; front more or less convex, sometimes slightly hollow around anterior ocellus; ocelli always present; eyes proportionately rather large, lateral; cheeks below and sides of head behind eyes generally short and restricted; vertex more or less convex; occiput transverse or emarginate, occasionally rounded. Thorax with prothorax short or moderately long, posterior lateral angles prolonged slightly towards base of wings; pronotum above more or less transversely rectangular, convex, sides parallel or slightly convergent anteriorly; propleurae generally more or less excavate; mesonotum and scutellum distinct; mesopleurae generally rugose, very often obliquely grooved, groove formed by foveate distinct depressions; apex acute or rounded, sometimes bidentate, often excavate and margined; postscutellum well developed, most often convex, rounded posteriorly, sometimes with mucro projecting backwards from base; median segment always more or less suppressed beneath postscutellum, posterior lateral angles always produced, flattened and usually acute at apex. Wings with few nervures and cells; forewing with costal, medial and first discoidal cells complete, first submedial and radial cells sometimes complete, sometimes incomplete, second submedial and first cubital incomplete, costal cell always very narrow, almost obliterated, first cubital generally entirely open at apex, rarely the transverse cubital nervure closing it is faintly outlined; hind wing with neuration still more incomplete, mere vestiges of cells and nervures being faintly outlined. Legs feeble, unarmed; femora and tibiae normal; claws simple, not dentate. Abdomen pseudosessile, more or less convex above, very variable in proportion of length to breadth; sides may be parallel or convergent posteriorly; base concave, transverse, or with one or more impressions above; second segment generally the longest, very often medially longitudinally carinate; third segment often transversely incrassate in middle, with anteapical row of foveae present as a rule, exceptionally absent or obliterated; apical margin with or without teeth.

<==Chrysis Linn. 1767 [incl. Pyria Lepel. & Serv. 1825]B03
    |--*C. cyaneaB03
    |--C. abuensis Nurse 1902B03
    |--C. affinis Lucas 1849E12
    |--C. agilisB85
    |--C. amoenula (Mocsáry 1899) [=Pentachrysis amoenula]B03
    |--C. analisR26
    |--C. angustata (Mocsáry 1892) [=Tetrachrysis angustata]B03
    |--C. annulata du Buyss. 1887 (see below for synonymy)B03
    |--C. apiata du Buyss. 1900 [incl. C. lucinda Nurse 1903]B03
    |--C. arrestans Nurse 1903B03
    |--C. ausae Bohart 1985B85
    |--C. australis Bohart 1985B85
    |--C. austriacaL49
    |--C. autocrata Nurse 1903B03
    |--C. bahadur Nurse 1903B03
    |--C. barbara Lucas 1848E12
    |--C. bayadera du Buysson 1896B03
    |--C. bengalensis (Mocsáry 1889) [=Pentachrysis bengalensis]B03
    |--C. bhavanae Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. bipartitaB85
    |--C. blanchardi Lucas 1848E12
    |--C. bombycidaR13
    |--C. burmanica Mocsáry 1892B03
    |--C. cembricolaHR11
    |--C. chavanae Nurse 1902B03
    |--C. cirtana Lucas 1848E12
    |--C. comottii Grib. 1884B03
    |--C. conserta du Buyss. 1891B03
    |--C. coronataR26
    |--C. cotesi du Buysson 1893B03
    |--C. crictovallensisB85
    |--C. cupreiventris Bingh. 1898B03
    |--C. curtisensis Linsenmaier 1982B85
    |--C. danae Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. dentifrontis Linsenmaier 1982B85
    |--C. dimidiataL49
    |--C. disparilis Cameron 1897B03
    |--C. dissimilanda du Buysson 1896B03
    |--C. dives Lucas 1849E12
    |--C. durga Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. elizabethae Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. fasciataK18
    |--C. feana (Mosc. 1892) [=Hexachrysis feana]B03
    |--C. festinaB85
    |--C. fossulataB85
    |--C. fulgidaMS01
    |--C. furcifera Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. furiosa Cameron 1897B03
    |--C. fuscipennis Brullé 1846 [=Tetrachrysis fuscipennis]B03
    |--C. gracilenta (Mocsáry 1889) [=Chrysis gracilenta]B03
    |--C. greeni Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. gujaratica Nurse 1903B03
    |--C. hedychroides Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. ignifascia Mocsáry 1892B03
    |--C. ignitaBM76 [incl. C. ignita var. longulaMS01]
    |--C. imperiosa Smith 1874 [=Pentachrysis imperiosa]B03
    |--C. impostorB85
    |--C. indica (Mocsáry 1889) [=Hexachrysis indica]B03
    |--C. indogotea Duf. & Perr. 1840 [=Tetrachrysis indogotea]B03
    |--C. insignis Lucas 1848E12
    |--C. interceptorB85
    |--C. intrudensB85
    |--C. ionophris (Mocsáry 1892) [=Tetrachrysis ionophris]B03
    |--C. jalala Nurse 1902B03
    |--C. kashmirensis Nurse 1902B03
    |--C. lanka Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. leachiBM76
    |--C. libita du Buysson 1896B03
    |--C. linceaB85
    |--C. lusca Fabr. 1804 [=Pentachrysis lusca; incl. C. lusca var. concinna]B03
    |--C. lynceaK18
    |--C. mendicalis Cameron 1897B03
    |--C. microtrema (n. d.)B85
    |--C. nila Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. norsemanae Bohart 1985B85
    |--C. notidana Bohart 1985B85
    |--C. nugatrix Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. nursei Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. obliterata (Mocsáry 1889) [=Tetrachrysis obliterata]B03
    |--C. obscura Smith 1861 [=Hexachrysis obscura]B03
    |--C. oculata Fabr. 1775 [=Hexachrysis oculata, Pyria oculata; incl. C. oculata var. sumptuosa]B03
    |--C. oraniensis Le Peletier 1848E12
    |--C. orientalis (Guér. 1842) [=Pyria orientalis, Hexachrysis orientalis]B03
    |--C. paria Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. perfecta Cameron 1897 [incl. C. hoggei Nurse 1903]B03
    |--C. perplexaB85
    |--C. perthensisB85
    |--C. posticaK18
    |--C. principalis Smith 1874 [=Hexachrysis principalis]B03
    |--C. pulchellaR26
    |--C. punctatissimaK18
    |--C. quaerita Nurse 1902B03
    |--C. rufa [incl. C. neglecta]MS01
    |--C. saginataB85
    |--C. sandaracata Bingham 1903B03
    |--C. saraksensis Radoszk. 1891 [=C. seraxensis]B03
    |--C. schioedtei Dahlb. 1854 (see below for synonymy)B03
    |--C. scioensis Grib. 1879 [=Trichrysis scioensis]B03
    |--C. shanghaiensis Smith 1874 [incl. Pentachrysis crassiscuta Mocsáry 1889, P. himalayensis Mocsáry 1889]B03
    |--C. simulansB85
    |--C. singalensis (Mocsáry 1889) [=Trichrysis singalensis]B03
    |--C. sollicitaB85
    |--C. speculata du Buysson 1896B03
    |--C. succinctaBM76
    |--C. tafnensis Le Peletier 1848E12
    |--C. tasmaniacaB85
    |--C. thalia Nurse 1903B03
    |--C. triacantha (Mocsáry 1889) [=Trichrysis triacantha]B03
    |--C. tricolor Lucas 1849E12
    |--C. unicolor Lucas 1849E12
    |--C. versicolor Lucas 1849E12
    |--C. viridulaPK17
    |--C. wroughtoni du Buysson 1896B03
    |--C. xysa Bohart 1985B85
    |--C. yallingupiaB85
    `--C. zylla Bohart 1985B85

Chrysis annulata du Buyss. 1887 [=Tetrachrysis annulata; incl. C. balucha Nurse 1903, T. fulvicornis Mocs. 1889, C. fulvicornis, C. quettaensis Nurse 1903]B03

Chrysis schioedtei Dahlb. 1854 [=Hexachrysis schioedtei; incl. C. gemmatus Smith 1874, Hexachrysis siva Mocsáry 1889, C. siva]B03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[B85] Bohart, R. M. 1985. A key to the Australian Chrysis with description of new species (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae). Insecta Mundi 1 (1): 47–52.

[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[HR11] Heraty, J., F. Ronquist, J. M. Carpenter, D. Hawks, S. Schulmeister, A. P. Dowling, D. Murray, J. Munro, W. C. Wheeler, N. Schiff & M. Sharkey. 2011. Evolution of the hymenopteran megaradiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 73–88.

[K18] Kohl, F. F. 1918. Die Hautflügergruppe “Sphecinae”. IV. Teil. Die natürliche Gattung Sceliphron Klug (Pelopoeus Latr.). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museum in Wien 32: 1–171.

[L49] Lucas, H. 1849. Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie pendant les années 1840, 1841, 1842 publiée par ordre du gouvernement et avec le concours d’une commission académique. Sciences physiques. Zoologie. II. Histoire naturelle des animaux articulés. Troisième partie. Insectes (suite). Imprimerie Nationale: Paris.

[MS01] Mocsáry, A., & V. Szépligeti. 1901. Hymenopterák [Hymenopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 121–169. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[PK17] Peters, R. S., L. Krogmann, C. Mayer, A. Donath, S. Gunkel, K. Meusemann, A. Kozlov, L. Podsiadlowski, M. Petersen, R. Lanfear, P. A. Diez, J. Heraty, K. M. Kjer, S. Klopfstein, R. Meier, C. Polidori, T. Schmitt, S. Liu, X. Zhou, T. Wappler, J. Rust, B. Misof & O. Niehuis. 2017. Evolutionary history of the Hymenoptera. Current Biology 27 (7): 1013–1018.

[R13] Reuter, O. M. 1913. Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der Insekten bis zum Erwachen der sozialen Instinkte. R. Friedländer & Sohn: Berlin.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.


  1. Thats very far from Chrysis that image, its a Holopyga generosa (Elampini), "Chrysis ignita" is a name that is thrown around for all kinds of things, while in fact its a quite rare species. Also listing all the Chrysis species would be a rather big task, seeing as there's some 1000+ species in the genus, with many more synonyms….

    I would also recommend to base most, if not all, descriptions etc from Kimsey & Bohart 1991 (1990) 'The Chrysidid Wasps of the World". Its not complete, some new genera and a lot of species are missing, or considered synonyms, but its by far the best account for the whole family.

  2. Thanks for the correction; I've changed the photo. I've got the Kimsey & Bohart book on the to-do list; certainly I'm going to have to change these pages a lot once I get to it.

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