Figitinae, Hartig, 1840

Buffington, Matthew L., Forshage, Mattias, Liljeblad, Johan, Tang, Chang-Ti & Noort, Simon van, 2020, World Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera): A Key to Higher- Level Groups, Insect Systematics and Diversity 4 (2020), No. 1, pp. 1-69 : 59-60

publication ID 10.1093/isd/ixaa003

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Figs. 259 View Plate 22 –264

No subfamily within Figitidae has been taxonomically abused as much as Figitinae . Historically, cynipoids that were clearly not

gall wasps, but also not recognizably eucoilines, anacharitines, or aspicerines, have been placed here. Hence, Figitinae has been a classic ‘dustbin’ concept. The phylogenetic research started by Ronquist (1999), and carried on by Buffington et al. (2007), recovered a core group of ‘obvious’ figitine genera (vis. Neralsia , Xyalophora , Figites ), demonstrating that at least at a basic level, the group may be monophyletic. These core genera are some of the largest of all species of figitids, and are typically glabrous except for some stout setae, also having glabrous wings (apparently an adaptation to their often sticky host habitats, i.e., dung and carcasses). More peripheral genera, such as Melanips and Lonchidia , have been much more difficult to confine to Figitinae ; this is reflected in this very paper, where these two taxa come out at the end of the figitid key to groups. Some figitines can be quite common, especially in Malaise traps and in sweepnet samples of pastureland.

Biology. Figitinae are parasitoids of muscomorphan Diptera , but for most taxa there are no known host associations. The available records show a similar pattern as in Eucoilinae , a dominance for attacking saprophagous flies in ephemeral habitats (dung, carrion, compost), but several attacking phytophagous flies. The speciesrich and more common genera are all focused on large, quickdeveloping calyptrate flies, while some notable forms parasitize, i.e., Anthomyiidae in conifer cones. While they have been included in surveys for natural enemies of species such as horn fly and face fly ( Muscidae ) in the United States, the parasitism rate has been too low for actual impact. Similarly, in Europe and Asia, Amphithectus (under very varying names) have been studied searching for natural enemies of cone seed predators, but no practical application has been developed.

Distribution. Worldwide. Some species of Neralsia and Xyalophora move with muscoid flies associated with livestock.

Relevant literature. Van Noort et al. (2014) revised the Afrotropical members of the subfamily. Paretas-Martínez and Pujade-Villar (2010) reviewed the Australian species; Pujade-Villar et al. (2008) reviewed the species limits of Xyalophoroides quinquelineata ; Jimenez et al. (2008d) revised Xyalophora and Jimenez et al. (2008a, 2008b, 2008c) North American Neralsia . Forshage and Nordlander (2018) clarified the circumscription and biology of the Amphithectus group. Buffington et al. (2007, 2012) investigated the phylogeny of the group.


Figitinae Hartig, 1840

Figites group

Figites Latreille, 1802 ; 54 species, but taxonomy is uncertain with many more or less dubious taxa, probably worldwide Foersterhomorus Pujade-Villar, Petersen-Silva & Paretas- Martinez, 2011; 1 species PA

Neralsia Cameron, 1883 ; 61 species worldwide but most species NT

Paraschiza Weld, 1944 ; 1 species NA

Trischiza Förster, 1869 ; 5 species PA, NA

Xyalophora Kieffer, 1901 ; 14 species worldwide but not yet reported from the Oriental region

Xyalophoroides Jiménez and Pujade-Villar, 2008 ; 1 species NA

Zygosis Förster, 1869 ; 2 species PA

Lonchidia group

Lonchidia Thomson, 1862 ; 7 species PA, NA, rare AT

Sarothrus group

Amphithectus Hartig, 1840 ; 2 species PA, NA, several undescribed

Sarothrioides Belizin, 1961 ; 1 species ePA

Sarothrus Hartig, 1840 ; 8 species PA, NA

placement uncertain

Ferpereira Pujade-Villar, 2012 ; 1 species NT

Nebulovena Pujade-Villar and Paretas-Martinez, 2012 ; 1 species PA













Buffington, Matthew L., Forshage, Mattias, Liljeblad, Johan, Tang, Chang-Ti & Noort, Simon van 2020

Xyalophoroides Jiménez and Pujade-Villar, 2008

Jimenez and Pujade-Villar 2008


Cameron 1883

Zygosis Förster, 1869

Forster 1869


Latreille 1802