Illustrated Key to the Cuckoo Wasps (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae) of the Nordic and Baltic Countries, with Description of a New Species

ZooKeys No. 548

By: J. Paukkunen, et al.
December 2015
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789546428059
116 Pages, Illustrated
$72.50 Paper original

Cuckoo wasps are well known for their beautiful metallic colours, as well as their parasitic lifestyle, which has given them their common name. Similar to cuckoo birds, which lay eggs in other bird’s nests, most cuckoo wasps penetrate nests of unrelated solitary wasps and solitary bees, and develop as cleptoparasites or parasitoids during their larval stage. Despite their attractive appearance, the taxonomy of cuckoo wasps has long been confusing due to the similarity of species and extensive intraspecific variation. This work represents the first comprehensive dichotomous key for all 74 species and 14 genera found in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The key is richly illustrated with high quality habitus images and pictures of morphological details, supporting reliable species identification. In addition to diagnostic characters, information on the distribution and biology of each species is also presented. A new species of the Chrysis ignita species group, Chrysis borealis Paukkunen, Ødegaard & Soon, sp. n., is described on the basis of specimens collected from Fennoscandia.