Two new species of Chalcididae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) from India


T.C. Narendran 1 & F.R. Khan 2


1 Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Calicut, Calicut University P.O., Kerala 673635, India

2 Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh 202002, India

Email: (corresponding author)



Date of publication (online): 26 February 2011

Date of publication (print): 26 February 2011

ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)


Editor: Hui Xiao


Manuscript details:

Ms # o2469

Received 28 May 2010

Final received 19 January 2011

Finally accepted 31 January 2011


Citation: Narendran, T.C. & F.R. Khan (2011). Two new species of Chalcididae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) from India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(2): 1506-1513.


Copyright: © T.C. Narendran & F.R. Khan 2011. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Author Details: T.C. Narendran is a visiting professor at the Department of Zoology, University of Calicut, and president, TCN Trust for Animal Taxonomy, Kozhikode. His current activities include the study of taxonomy of Chalcidoidea.  F.R. Khan is a research associate at the Aligarh Muslim University. His current activities include research on Encyrtidae.


Author Contribution: TCN identified the taxa and described the new species and prepared the paper. FRK collected the taxa.


Acknowledgements: The senior author of this paper (TCN) is grateful to the authorities of the University of Calicut and to the present Head of the Department of Zoology (Prof. N. Ramani) in particular for facilities to work. He also thanks Dr. M. Nasser of the same department for cooperation and help. We are grateful to Prof. M. Hayat (Aligarh Muslim University) for giving us the specimens for our study and for kindly reviewing the manuscript.  TCN thanks Prof. V.V. Ramamurthy, Division of Entomology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi for making available a copy of the publication of Farooqi et al. 1991.  We thank Dr. John S. Noyes of the Natural History Museum, London for critically reviewing this paper.



Abstract: Two new species of Chalcididae viz. Psilochalcis mathuraensis sp. nov. and

Brachymeria neoatteviae sp. nov. are described and compared with similar species.  Illustrations of important features are provided.


Keywords: Brachymeria, Chalcididae, India, new species, Psilochalcis.


Abbreviations: AOL - distance between front and hind ocelli; OOL - distance between eye and adjacent hind ocellus; LOL - hind ocellar diameter; POL - distance between hind ocelli; PMV - postmarginal vein; MV - marginal vein; SMV - submarginal vein; STV - stigmal vein length; T1-T6 - gastral tergites 1-6; WIOS - width of interocular space; DZCU - Department of Zoology,University of Calicut; ZDAMU - Department of Zoology,Aligarh Muslim University; INPC - National Pusa Collection of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India.



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The family Chalcididae is economically important because several of its species parasitize agricultural insect pests.  While the majority of Chalcididae species are primary parasitoids of Lepidoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera, some are hyperparasitic via Hymenoptera or Diptera primary parasitoids.  Several workers have contributed to the taxonomy of Chalcididae, with the most significant contributions being: Oriental fauna: Bouček & Narendran (1981), Mani (1989), Narendran (1989) and Wijesekara (1997); Japanese fauna: Habu (1960); Australasian fauna: (Bouček 1988; Naumann 1986); European fauna: Steffan (1951, 1959, 1976), Nikolskaya (1952, 1960) and Bouček (1952); New world fauna: Burks (1960, 1975, 1979), Delvare & Bouček (1992), and Halstead (1990, 1991).  We report here two recently discovered species: a new species of Psilochalcis being the first record from India of the benoisti group of Psilochalcis with strongly projecting roof of clypeus; and a new species of Brachymeria that resembles known Brachymeria such as atteviae Joseph, Narendran and Joy, nephantidis Gahan, and hime Habu in the pattern of hind leg colouration and mesosoma structure, but distinct from all known Brachymeria to justify description.




Psilochalcis Kieffer


Psilochalcis Kieffer, 1905: 49: 250. Type species Psilochalci longigena Kieffer, by monotypy.

Leptochalcis Kieffer, 1905: 49: 251.Type species Leptochalcis filicornis Kieffer, by Monotypy (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Bouček, 1992) .

Euchalcidia Masi, 1929: 6: 209. Type species Euchalcidia elongatula Masi, by monotypy (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Bouček 1992).

Invreia Masi, 1929: 6: 210. Type species: Invreia subaenea Masi by original designation (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Bouček 1992).

Parinvreia Steffan, 1951: 6: 7. As subgenus of Invereia Masi. Type Species: Invreia frequens Masi by designation of Bouček (1984) (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Bouček 1992).

Peltochalcidia Steffan, 1948: 53: 121. Type species Peltochalcidia benoisti Steffan, by original designation (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Bouček 1992).

Hyperchalcidia Steffan, 1951: 67. Type species Hyperchalcidida soudanensis Steffan; by original designation (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Narendran 1989).

Chalcidiopsis Masi, 1933: 12: 4. Type-species: Chalcidiopsis odontomera Masi, by monotypy (synonymy with Psilochalcis Kieffer by Narendran & Sudheer 2005).

For other synonyms see Noyes (2010).  So far only eight species of Psilochalcis are known from India.  These are Psilochalcis carinigena (Cameron), P. keralensis Narendran (Narendran, 1989), P. adhara (Narendran, 1989) (from Invreia), P. hayati (Narendran, 1989) (from Invreia), P. crassicornis (Masi, 1929) (from Euchalcididia), P. ghanii (Habu, 1970) (from Invreia) and P. erythropus (Cameron, 1897) (from Halticella).  Bouček (1992) revised the generic synonymy of Psilochalcis.

Diagnosis: Antennae 13 segmented; in female antennae inserted at clypeus; in male, antennae inserted a little distance above it; scape not reaching anterior ocellus; head in front view roundly triangular or subrectangular as in soudanensis group; outer surface of clypeus gradually turns downwards and its upper edge projects slightly to strongly in different species; body densely setose in some species; mesosoma sturdy, in some species propodeum is almost horizontal with very distinct carinae submediae, accessoriae, sublaterales and costae lateralis; scutellum flatly arched, posteriorly broadly rounded or truncated; hind femur with a ventral row of comb of teeth, basal tooth massive in Chalcidiopsis and typical Psilochalcis. Gaster with large, tongue shaped, posteriorly rounded T1.

Hosts: Parasites of lepidopterous pupae.

Distribution: North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Oriental region and Japan.


Psilochalcis mathuraensis sp. nov.

 (Figs. 1-5)


Material examined

Holotype: Female, 30.viii.2007, Nagla Chiranji, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India, coll. F.R. Khan (DZCU 1001 (pending transfer to INPC)).

Description: Length 3.72mm.  Black with following parts as follows; scape, pedicel and F1 pale brownish-yellow; all coxae concolrous with body; remaining leg segments pale brownish-yellow with carinae and ventral comb of teeth of hind femur black; eye and ocellus pale grayish yellow; pubescence white; wings hyaline with veins brown; pilosity of wing disc brown.

Head: Width in anterior view subequal to its height; width in dorsal view 1.97x its length; frons with close(interstices narrower than diameter of a pit) umbilicate setigerous pits; interstices ecarinate, smooth and shiny; scrobe not clearly marked from frons, not distinctly reaching front ocellus, weakly cross striate; POL a little over 2x OOL; AOL longer than OOL (8:6); WIOS 2.92x POL; vertex similarly pitted as in frons; occiput concave without a cross carina; area immediately below insertion of antenna reduced into a flat quadrangular plate over mouth so that mandible not visible completely in anterior view, this flat lobe a little convex medially; malar ridge distinct, reaching ventral margin of eyes; distance between lower margin of eye to lower margin of gena 0.78x eye height in profile; genotemporal margin carinate, gena with setigerous pits, interstices smooth and shiny, shorter than diameter of a pit; antennal formula 11083; antenna inserted near mouth; scape not reaching near front ocellus; relative length of antennal segments: scape = 43; pedicel = 13; F1 = 8; F2 = 9; F3 = 9; F4 = 8; F5 = 7; F6 = 7; F7 = 8; F8 = 6; clava = 13.

Mesosoma: Pronotum with widely scattered shallow setigerous pits; interstices much wider than diameter of a pit; pronotum including collum longer and wider than mesoscutum; posterior margin of pronotum with a thick row of short setae; lateral panel of pronotum with a deep close umbilicate pits with interstices carinate, area close to lower margin of panel coriaceous; lateral panel separated from fore coxa by a deep furrow; mesoscutum with widely spaced (with interstices wider than a pit) setigerous pits; scutellum with widely spaced pits with interstices wider than a pit; posterior margin of scutellum rounded; propodium in the anterior two thirds subhorizontal, posterior third more sloping; carinae submediae, accessoriae, sublaterale and costae lateales very distinct; secondary transverse carinae short but distinct, bottom of the areola shiny; carina media lacking; metapleuron with close deep umbilicate setigerous pits; mesopleura with distinct anterior ridge, delimited facies femoralis, with transverse, oblique dorsally horizontal wrinkles; fore coxa subrectangular in side view with four to five oblique carinae; mid coxa with a deep concavity in side view; hind coxa densely pubescent on ventral half; hind femur arched 1.83x as long as wide, smooth with relatively small pits (smaller than pits of scutellum); pubescence moderately dense, longest hairs 0.5x width of hind tibia; ventral margin with a comb of 33-34 teeth; forewing 3.4x as long as wide.

Gaster: A little shorter than mesosoma (23:25); dorsally oval, broadest distinctly behind the middle, posteriorly not pointed; T1 exceeding beyond middle, smooth and shiny; ovipositor sheath hardly protruding, not visible from dorsal side.

Male: Unknown.

Host: Unknown.

Etymology: The species name is after the place Mathura from the holotype is collected.

Remarks: This new species differs from all other oriental species (Narendran 1989) in having protruded roof like clypeus (a character of benoisti group).  It comes near Psilochalcis benoisti (Steffan) in general appearance (especially in having projecting clypeus) but differs from P. benoisti in having: (i) Clypeus with transverse projecting roof with median convex lobe (Fig. 1); (in P. benoisti the clypeal roof simply roundly quadrangular without any median convex part); (ii) Hind femur with ventral comb of 33-34 teeth (in P. benoisti hind femur with ventral comb of 45-50 teeth); and (iii) Hind femur 1.83x as long as wide ( in P. benoisti hind femur 2.25x as long as wide).  This new species differs from Psilochalcis adhera Narendran in having; (i) roof of clypeus much more protruded than that of P. adhera; (ii) T1 smooth and shiny (closely pitted in P. adhera) and (iii) POL 2x OOL (in P. adhera POL 3.6x OOL)


Brachymeria Westwood


Brachymeria Westwood, in Stephens, 1829: 36. Type species Chalcis minuta Fabricius; designated by Westwood, 1939.

Thaumatelia Kirby, 1883: 60. Type species: Chalcis separata Walker, by monotypy (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Halstead 1998 ).

Onchochalcis Cameron, 1904: 162. Type species: Oncochalcis marginata Cameron, by monotypy (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Nikolskaya 1960).

Holochalcis Kieffer, 1905: 258. Type species: Type species: Holochalcis madagascariensis Kieffer, by subsequent designation of, Gahan, A.B.; Fagan, M.M. (1923), (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Narendran (in Subba Rao, B.R. 1987: 438)

Tumidicoxa Girault, 1911[88]: 378. Type species Tumidicoxa nigra Girault; by original designation. (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Girault 1913(158)).

Thaumatelia Kirby: 1883: 60.Type species Chalcis separate, by monotypy (synonymy With Brachymeria Westwood by Halstead 1991)

 Thaumateliana Girault, 1912: 160-161. Type species: Thaumateliana bicolor Girault, by monotypy (synonymy with Thaumatelia Kirby by Narendran & Verghese 1989).

Pseudepitelia Girault, 1913[136]: 104. Type species Pseudepitelia rubrifemur Girault, by original designation (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Girault 1915 [245]).

Brachypitelia Girault, 1913[136]: 106. Type species Brachypetelia rubripes Girault, by original designation and monotypy (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Girault 1915[245]).

Tumidicoxoides Girault, 1913[159]: 86. Type species Tumidicoxoides kurandaensis Girault, by original designation (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Girault 1926[399]).

Tumidicoxella Girault, 1913[175]: 74. (as a subgenus of Tumidicoxa); Type species: Tumidicoxa (Tumidicoxella) nigra original designation.

Microchalcis Girault, 1915[245]: 328. Type species: Microchalcis atricorpus Girault by original designation (synonymy by Bouček, 1988).

Dirrhinomorpha Girault & Dodd, 1915[245]: 327. Type species: Dirrhinomorpha angusta Girault & Dodd, by original designation (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood and treated as subgenus of Brachymeria by Bouček 1988).

Meyeriella Krausse, 1917: 95. Type species: Meyeriella indica Krausse, by monotypy (synonymy with Brachymeria Westwood by Narendran 1986).

Neobrachymeria Masi 1929: 196-198 (as a subgenus of Brachymeria); Type species: Brachymeria confalonierii Masi by original designation.

Matsumurameria Habu, 1960: 209 (as a subgenus of Brachymeria). Type species: Chalcis taiwanus Matsumura, original designation.

Gahanula Burks, 1960: 261. Type species: Brachymeria discreta Gahan, original designation (as a subgenus of Brachymeria).

Australochalcis Girault, 1939[457]326. Type species: Australochalcis humilicrus Girault, original designation and monotypy (listed as synonym of Brachymeria Westwood by Bouček 1988).

The genus Brachymeria Westwood occurring in the Oriental region was revised first by Joseph, Narendran & Joy (1973), and later Narendran (1989) again revised Oriental Brachymeria in his monograph on ‘Oriental Chalcididae’.  Since then, Farooqi et al. (1991), described four new species and two new subspecies of Brachymeria.  The new species described by these authors are: Brachymeria kurukshetraensis, B. neomegaspila, B. rossicorporis and B.gauhatiensis. From the descriptions of these species it is clear that Brachymeria kurukshetraensis is a junior synonym of B. albicrus (Klug) (syn. nov.) and that B.neomegaspila is a form of B.megaspila (Cameron, 1991) (syn. nov.).  Unadilla (1996) later described Brachymeria encarpae Ubaidillah from Indonesia.  Joseph, Narendran and Joy (1973) and Narendran (1989) revised oriental Brachymeria and provided keys.

Diagnosis: Head oval in profile; scrobe deep with carinate margins; in some species head with preorbital or postorbital carinae or with both carinae present; malar sulcus carinate or ridged; antennal formula 11171 (clava 1 to 3 segmented).  Mesosoma with umbilicate punctures; forewing with PMV usually half or about half as long as MV and usually twice as long as STV.  Hind coxa in female in some cases with an inner ventromesal tooth; hind femur with a ventral row of irregular teeth and in some species with an inner basal tooth; hind tibia arcuate; gaster sessile, T1 always the longest; ovipositor sheath slightly compressed slightly exerted; in some species gaster elongate.

Biology: The species are mostly primary parasitoids in pupae of holometabolous insects, especially of Lepidoptera but some species attack Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera.  Most species are primary parasitoids.  Some are hyperparasitoids attacking Lepidoptera through parasitic Hymenoptera or Diptera.

Distribution: World wide.


 Brachymeria (Brachymeria) neoatteviae sp. nov.

 (Figs. 6-11)


Material examined

Holotype: Female, 25.v.2008, Mati Khata, Cooch Bihar, West Bengal, India (DZCU 1002; peding transfer to INPC).

Paratypes: 2 females, 22.v.2008, Khocha Barihat, New Alipurduar, West Bengal, India (DZCU 1003 and DZCU 1004); 1 female, 1 male, 21.xi.2007, Bhanpur, Cuttack, Orissa, India (DZCU 1005), (DZCU 1006); 1 female, 15.xii.2007, Sarbahal, Angul, Orissa, India (DZCU 1007); 2 females, 03-04.xii.2007, Kadurai & Harrajpor, Khorda, Orissa, India (DZCU 1008 and DZCU 1009).  All paratypes deposited in DZCU pending transfer to ZDAMU. All specimens collected by F.R. Khan.

Description: Length 3.75mm.  Black, tegula yellow; coxae black; trochanters black; femora black with apex yellow; hind tibiae yellow with median black band; wings hyaline with veins dark brown; pubescence silvery.

Head: As wide as mesosoma (excluding tegulae); width in anterior view 1.3x its height; width in dorsal view 2.12x its length; frons and vertex strongly pitted, pits close or shorter than half diameter of a pit and interstices carinate; scrobe smooth and shiny with slightly rugose at apex; almost reaching front ocellus; distance between outer margin of hind ocelli (= width of ocellar area) 0.8x WIOS; POL 4x OOL, 2.7x LOL; AOL longer than LOL; preorbital carina weakly represented; postorbital carina reaching genotemporal margin; area below scrobe with a relatively small smooth area below base of interantennal projection; height of malar space 0.19x height of eye in profile, eye height 1.54x its length in profile; front genal angle acute, hind genal angle a little obtuse; right mandible with two teeth and left mandible with two teeth.  Antenna stout; scape not reaching front ocellus, almost equal to combined length of F1 to F4; pedicel a little longer than wide; clava a little over 2x as long as preceding segment; relative L:W of antennal segments; scape = 22:5; pedicel = 5:4; F1 = 6:7; F2 = 5:8 ; F3 = 6:9; F4 = 6:9; F5 = 5:10; F6 = 5:10; F7 = 5:10; clava = 12:10.

Mesosoma: Provided with umbilicate pits, interstices carinate and rugose; mesoscutum 1.13x as wide as its length; scutellum well high at base, subperpendicularly declined towards apical part; apical flange slightly emarginated at middle, explanate; dorsal margin of lateral panel of pronotum complete and not interrupted anteriorly; hind coxa on ventral side densely pitted and pubescent, without an inner ventromesal tooth, dorsal side smooth; hind femur 1.62x as long as wide; outer disc rather mat like, pubescent, outer ventral margin with a row of 12 differently sized teeth. Forewing 2.56x as long as broad; relative length of SMV = 66, MV = 31, PMV = 14; STV = 6.

Gaster: Shorter than mesosoma; not pointed at apex; T1 smooth and shiny; T2 microsculptured all over with dense pubescence on side; T6 with 6 transverse rows of rugose pits; ovipositor a little visible from dorsal side.

Male: Similar to female except for a shorter gaster.

Etymology: Named after Brachymeria atteviae Joseph,Narendran & Joy for its superficial resembence to the new species.

Remarks: This new species comes very close to Brachymeria atteviae Joseph, Narendran and Joy in general appearance and comes close to Brachymeria atteviae in the key to species by Narendran (1989), but differs from B. attevae in having: (i) gaster shorter than mesosoma (in B atteviae gaster longer than mesosoma); (ii) gaster subrounded and not at all pointed at apex (in B. atteviae gaster pointed and not at all subrounded); (iii) front genal angle acute (in B. atteviae front genal angle nearly rectangular); (iv) area below scrobe with a small smooth shiny area (in B. atteviae no such smooth area below scrobe), and (v) MV 2.33x PMV (in B. atteviae MV 2.67x PMV).

This new species may also get confused with Brachymeria nephantidis Gahan and Brachymeria hime Habu since both these two species have somewhat similar colour pattern of hind leg, similar punctures on mesosoma and in the nature of scutellum.  However, the new species differs from Brachymeria nephantidis Gahan, in having: (i) base of hind tibia yellow ( in B. nephantidis base of hind tibia black or brown with reddish tinge or pale brownish red); (ii) fore and mid tibia yellow completely (in B. nephantidis fore and hind tibia yellow with black band medially); (iii) MV 2.33x PMV (in B. nephantidis MV more than 4x PMV); (iv) metasoma shorter than mesosoma (in B. nephantidis metasoma longer than mesosoma), and (v) gaster not pointed posteriorly (in B. nephantidis gaster pointed posteriorly).  This new species differs from Brachymeria hime Habu in having different colour pattern of fore and mid tibiae and black band of hind tibia much shorter than that of B. hime.  Besides front genal angle is acute in the new species where as it is almost rectangular in B. hime.  In the new species metasoma is shorter than mesosoma where as metasoma is longer than mesosoma and pointed in B. hime.





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