Chrysis comparata Lepeletier, 1806

Rosa, Paolo & Xu, Zai-fu, 2015, Annotated type catalogue of the Chrysididae (Insecta, Hymenoptera) deposited in the collection of Maximilian Spinola (1780 - 1857), Turin, ZooKeys 471, pp. 1-96: 10-12

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Chrysis comparata Lepeletier, 1806


Taxon classification Animalia Hymenoptera Chrysididae

Chrysis comparata Lepeletier, 1806  Plates 7, 8

Chrysis comparata  : Lepeletier 1806: 127.

Type locality.

France "Meudon".


Syntypes 2♂♂. Chrysis comparata  , Lepell. / D. De St. Fargeau, Paris.

Neotype (here designated) ♀. Sicile et Toscane / Lectotype ♀ Chrysis distinguenda  Dhlb. P. Rosa des. 2012 / Neotypus Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier des. P. Rosa 2013.

Catalogue Casolari & Casolari Moreno. Chrysis comparata  , 148, 185, 53, 3 (box 51).


In the Spinola collection, there are two identical specimens of Chrysis comparata  according to their general habitus, preparation and state of conservation. The type is likely housed in the Spinola collection, given that both Dahlbom (1854: 284) and Abeille (1879: 69) examined it there. Kimsey and Bohart (1991: 399) listed syntype males and they assumed to be housed in MNHN. However, they refer to some specimens cited by du Buysson (1898: 166) not included to the type series. In any case, the type of Chrysis comparata  is not housed in MNHN ( du Buysson 1899) and was not found during our research.

It is evident that Lepeletier’s description and drawing (Tav.1, fig.12) of Chrysis comparata  does not match the current interpretation of the species. It rather perfectly matches the description of the male of Chrysis pyrophana  Dahlbom, 1854. No other European species, in comparison, has such small body length, colour of head, mesosoma and the anterior part of T-I green-blue combined with the anal margin with four blunt and weakly developed teeth. The interpretation of Chrysis comparata  (= male of Chrysis pyrophana  ) was clear to Dahlbom (1854), Mocsáry (1889: 431) and Dalla Torre (1892: 52). Dahlbom (1854: 284) described the female under the name of Chrysis pyrophana  Dahlbom, 1854, because of the remarkable sexual dimorphism.

Dahlbom (1854: 282) described Chrysis comparata  in the modern sense under the name Chrysis distinguenda  Dahlbom (nec Spinola, 1838). Mocsáry (1879: 10) recognized the homonymy with Spinola’s Chrysis distinguenda  and replaced the name Chrysis distinguenda  Dahlbom with the name Chrysis chevrieri  Mocsáry (nec Abeille, 1877). This name remained in use for a long time in European collections.

The first wrong interpretation of this taxon dates back to Abeille (1879). His incorrect interpretation was already recognized by Mocsáry (1887: 14; 1889: 479), who included Chrysis comparata  sensu Abeille in the synonymic list of Chrysis chevrieri  Mocsáry, 1879. Please note that Abeille (1879) additionally independently described the male of Chrysis pyrophana  Dahlbom, 1854 under the name Chrysis insoluta  .

Mocsáry (1889: 431) correctly recognized the synonymy Chrysis insoluta  Abeille = Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier. Later, Bischoff (1913: 49) interpreted the name comparata  Lepeletier as referring to females of Chrysis distinguenda  Dahlbom and Chrysis chevrieri  Mocsáry as well as the male of pyrophana  (= insoluta  Abeille).

The current (mis-) interpretation of the species Chrysis comparata  was anchored in the taxonomic literature by Trautmann (1927: 154). His Chrysis comparata  is a large and robust species, with the entire metasoma golden, without the typical green-blue. Berland and Bernard (1938: 113) followed this interpretation, and so did Linsenmaier (1959: 148).

According to the Principle of Priority, Chrysis pyrophana  Dahlbom, 1854 should be named Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier, 1806 and the species currently identified as Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier should be named Chrysis miegii  Guérin, 1842, the first available name for this species. However, this change would compromise the nomenclatural stability, since the name Chrysis comparata  was recognized as a valid name for one of the most common European species by nearly all the authors in the last fifty years.

As already observed by Abeille (1879), the Spinola collection houses the type of Chrysis distinguenda  Dahlbom. This name was considered as a synonym of Chrysis comparata  sensu auctorum. To preserve the stability of nomenclature, we designate the neotype of Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier (Plate 8) based on a syntype ♀ of Chrysis distinguenda  Dahlbom (labels: Sicile et Toscane / Lectotype ♀ Chrysis distinguenda  Dhlb. P. Rosa des. 2012 / Neotypus Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier des. P. Rosa 2013), in accordance with Art. 75.6 of the Code: Conservation of prevailing usage by a neotype. The Article states that when an author discovers that the existing name-bearing type of a nominal species-group taxon is not in taxonomic accord with the prevailing usage of names and stability or universality is threatened thereby, he should maintain prevailing usage [Art. 82] and request the Commission to set aside under its plenary power [Art. 81] the existing name-bearing type and designate a neotype. It belongs to the comparata  - scutellaris  group.

Current status.

Chrysis comparata  Lepeletier, 1806.