Massive Species Diversity in a Sample of Ichneumonidae (Hym.) from Southern Sweden By D. F. OWEN1 and BO W. SVENSSON Department of Animal Ecology, University of Lund Abstract A sample of 10,994 Ichneumonidae caught in Malaise traps sited over a small stream in southern Sweden contained 758 species. This diversity of species is comparable to what can be expected in tropical areas for this family of insects and repre- sents about a fifth of the number of Ichneumonid species known from the western Palaearctic. In terms of the number of species the Ich- neumonidae is probably the largest family of animals. Its only rival is the beetle family Curculionidae, and indeed there are more species of Ichneumonidae than there are of vertebrates. Just over 4000 have been described for the western Palaearctic, perhaps about 70 % of the number that actually exist, but for most parts of the world less than half the spe- cies are known, and in tropical areas only 10- 15 % are believed to have been described (Townes, 1969). The larvae of ichneumonids are parasitic (more strictly they are parasitoid because they always kill their hosts) on the larvae of Lepidoptera, Diptera, Neuroptera, Coleoptera,
Insect Systematics & Evolution – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1974
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