Most ophionines exhibit what Gauld & Huddleston (1976) termed the 'Ophionoid facies': large ocelli, long antennae, and pale yellow-brown color .

Gauld & Huddleston explain that these " . . . characteristics have evolved several times amongst several different groups of Hymenoptera. The Ophionoid facies is found to occur not only within several different subfamilies of Ichneumonidae, but also within the Braconidae, and in the tropics amongst some Aculeate Hymenoptera. The Ophionoid facies is almost invariably confined to nocturnal insects."

The ichneumonids most commonly confused with ophionines belong to the tryphonine genus Netelia

Ophionines and Netelia spp. may be readily separated by the following characters:

Fore wing

The areolet is absent in ophionines but present in Netelia spp.

First metasomal segment

Ophionines lack a glymma and the spiracle is near the apex of T1. Netelia spp. have a prominent glymma and the spiracle is in front of the midpoint of T1.


The length of the ophionine ovipositor is less than or equal to the apical depth of the metasoma; the ovipositor has a dorsal subapical notch (which may be weak). In contrast, the Netelia ovipositor is 1.0-2.0x as long as the metasomal apical depth and is distinctly more robust; it lacks a dorsal subapical notch.


  1. Gauld, I.D. & Huddleston, T. 1976. The Nocturnal Ichneumonoidea of the British Isles, including a key to genera. Entomologist's Gazette, 27: 35-49.

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