Evaniidae Research

Last updated 10/25/07.

Evania (probably appendigaster)
Evania (probably appendigaster)

The Evaniidae are a medium sized family of wasps without stings whose solitary larvae "parasitize" the eggcases of cockroaches. Very little is known about them, and very few living people have an active interest in them. They are not apparently useful for pest control.

Only a few have known host associations: I'd welcome specimens of reared Evaniids and their hosts (or the eggcases alone, which can be identified to some extent.)

I can perform identifications of some species and all genera, and have extensive plans for taxonomic works, described below. I can also deposit voucher specimens at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. I routinely examine and sort museum collections to genus (and species where possible.)

I'd love to acquire world specimens, especially from traps, in any state of preparation.

Mike Huben ( mhuben@world.std.com )
C.O. Stefan Cover
Entomology Department
Harvard Museum Of Comparative Zoology
26 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 USA


Projects completed:

Projects for publication (in no particular order of work or expected completion):

Background or long-term projects (in no particular order of work or expected completion):

Basic observations on the study of Evaniidae:

There are a few pitfalls which have created a lot of bad work and some synonomy among the Evaniidae.

Who's working on Evaniidae.

There are few actively studying Evaniidae. Michael Madl (Vienna) reports that he is working on Madegascan Evaniidae. There have been some recent reworkings of the European Evaniidae as parts of faunal projects. A few who have published on Evaniidae in the past are still alive and working on other interests. Hardly anything is known of their life cycle except for a few North American and European species. In short, there's plenty of room.

Michael Elliott, based at the Australian Museum, has just started (2000) investigating the Australian Evaniidae. His intial focus will be the description of a small number of specimens from a genus [probably Brachygaster] limited in Australia to North Queensland, and the production of a preliminary key to the described genera in Australia.

Andy Deans, at the University of Illinois at Champaigne/Urbana, is working on his PhD in phylogenetic systematics of world Evaniidae. He is now the foremost researcher in this family, in my opinion.

My work is on a part-time, private basis; conducted under the auspices of Stephen Cover at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. I fell in love with Evaniidae in college when I was incredibly frustrated trying to key families of Hymenoptera: I figured that if only I'd caught one and tried to key it, at least I'd be sure of my determination because of the distinct habitus. It was years before I caught my first, and more years until I caught my second. In Ecuador, I collected about 40. They were so distinct from each other, that I thought they'd be easy to identify. I quickly found out how wrong I was, and how wretched their classification was. However, I'd collected all the described Neotropical genera (and all the undescribed genera except for one or two from Chile.) My studies are now restricted to a few hours a week by the demands of my wife, larvae, garden, mortgage, and other vices.

Links to Evaniid-related web pages.

Deyrup, M., and T. H. Atkinson, "Survey of Evaniid Wasps (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae) and Their Cockroach Hosts (Blattodea) in a Natural Florida Habitat." in Florida Entomologist December 1993 (vol.76, no. 4) pages 589-592.

Portrait of a Wasp. A page from The Canadian Museum Of Nature's Canadian Centre for Biodiversity journal Global Biodiversity. j

Fam. Evaniidae (in German.)

Evaniidae (Hymenoptera) in the mid-atlantic states: seasonal occurrence and identification.

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