Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2021-12-14

The Darwin wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) of Burmese amber

A.A. Borissiak Palaeontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117647, Russia, Cherepovets State University, Cherepovets, 162600, Russia
School of Geography & Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Rizhao 276826, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology & Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology & Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China
Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae Novichneumoninae Cretaceous Myanmar Kachin fossil insect


Three new genera and five new species of Darwin wasps (Ichneumonidae) are described from the mid-Cretaceous Burmese (Kachin) amber: Heteropimpla pulverulenta sp. nov., Rasnichneumon alexandri gen. et sp. nov., R. gracilis sp. nov., Heteroichneumon rasnitsyni gen. et sp. nov., and Rogichneumon braconidicus gen. et sp. nov. The genus Heteropimpla is transferred to Novichneumoninae. The subfamily Novichneumoninae, comprising 6 genera with 8 species, is endemic to Burmese amber, and no other subfamilies of Ichneumonidae are known in the Burmese assemblage. Ichneumonids are extremely rare in Burmese amber, as well as in other Cretaceous amber faunas. However, nine known specimens represent nine different species (one is not formally described due to poor preservation), indicating a serious paleontological record gap for Burmese Darwin wasps.


  1. Antropov, A.V., Belokobylskij, S.A., Compton, S.G., Dlussky, G.M., Khalaim, A.I., Kolyada, V.A., Kozlov, M.A., Perfilieva, K.S. & Rasnitsyn, A.P. (2014) The wasps, bees and ants (Insecta: Vespida=Hymenoptera) from the Insect Limestone (Late Eocene) of the Isle of Wight, UK. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 104, 335–446.

  2. Brues, C.T. (1910) The parasitic Hymenoptera of the tertiary of Florissant, Colorado. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 125 pp.

  3. Kopylov, D.S. (2009) A new subfamily of ichneumonids from the Lower Cretaceous of Transbaikalia and Mongolia (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Paleontological Journal, 43 (1), 83–93.

  4. Kopylov, D.S. (2010) A new subfamily of ichneumon wasps (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of the Russian Far East. Paleontological Journal, 44, 422–433.

  5. Kopylov, D.S. (2011) Ichneumon wasps of the Khasurty locality in Transbaikalia (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). Paleontological Journal, 45 (4), 406–413.

  6. Kopylov, D.S., Brothers, D.J. & Rasnitsyn, A.P. (2010) Two New Labenopimpline Ichneumonids (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Southern Africa. African Invertebrates, 51, 423–430.

  7. Kopylov, D.S., Rasnitsyn, A.P., Aristov, D.S., Bashkuev, A.S., Bazhenova, N.V., Dmitriev, V.Yu., Gorochov, A.V., Ignatov, M.S., Ivanov, V.D., Khramov, A.V., Legalov, A.A., Lukashevich, E.D., Mamontov, Y.S., Melnitsky, S.I., Oglaza, B., Ponomarenko, A.G., Prokin, A.A., Ryzhkova, O.V., Shmakov, A.S., Sinichenkova, N.D., Solovnikov, A.Yu., Strelnikova, O.D., Sukacheva, I.D., Uliakhin, A.V., Vasilenko, D.V., Wegierek, P., Yan, E.V. & Zmarzly, M. (2020) The fossil insect Lagerstätte Khasurty. Paleontological Journal, 54 (11), 1221–1394.

  8. Li, L., Rasnitsyn, A.P., Shih, C. & Ren, D. (2015) A new genus and species of Praeaulacidae (Hymenoptera: Evanioidea) from Upper Cretaceous Myanmar amber. Cretaceous Research, 55, 19–24.

  9. Li, L., Kopylov, D.S., Shih, C. & Ren, D. (2017) The first record of Ichneumonidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) from the Upper Cretaceous of Myanmar. Cretaceous Research, 70, 152–162.

  10. Li, L., Shih, P.J.M., Kopylov, D.S., Li, D. & Ren, D. (2019) Geometric morphometric analysis of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera: Apocrita) with two new Mesozoic taxa from Myanmar and China. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 18 (11), 931–943.

  11. McKellar, R.C., Kopylov, D.S. & Engel, M.S. (2013) Ichneumonidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) in Canadian Late Cretaceous amber. Fossil Record, 16, 217–227.

  12. Perrichot, V., Néraudeau, D., Nel, A. & de Ploëg, G. (2007) A reassessment of the Cretaceous amber deposits from France and their palaeontological significance. African Invertebrates, 48 (1), 213–227. In: Brothers, D.J. & Mostovski, M.B. (Eds), Congress Proceedings Fossils X 3, Pretoria, South Africa, 7–11 February 2005. Pietermaritzburg: Natal Museum, pp. 213–227.

  13. Rasnitsyn, A.P. (1969) Proiskhozhdenie i evoliutsiia nizshikh pereponchatokrylykh [Origin and Evolution of the Lower Hymenoptera]. Nauka, Moscow. 196 pp. [In Russian with English translation by Amerind Co., New Delhi, 1979]

  14. Rasnitsyn, A.P. (1980) Proiskhozhdenie i evoliutsiia perepon-chatokrylykh nasekomykh [The origin and evolution of Hymenoptera]. Nauka, Moscow, 192 pp. [In Russian]

  15. Ross, A.J. (2021) Supplement to the Burmese (Myanmar) amber checklist and bibliography, 2020. Palaeoentomology, 4 (1), 57–76.

  16. Shi, G., Grimaldi, D.A., Harlow, G.E., Wang, J., Wang, J., Yang, M., Lei, W., Li, Q. & Li, X. (2012) Age constraint on Burmese amber based on U–Pb dating of zircons. Cretaceous Research, 37, 155–163.

  17. Spasojevic, T., Wedmann, S. & Klopfstein, S. (2018) Seven remarkable new fossil species of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from the Eocene Messel Pit. PLoS ONE, 13, e0197477.

  18. Townes, H.K. (1973) Two ichneumonids (Hymenoptera) from the Early Cretaceous. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 75, 216–219.

  19. Yu, D.S., Achterberg, von, C. & Horstmann, K. (2016) Taxapad 2016. Ichneumonoidea 2015 (Biological and taxonomical information), Taxapad Interactive Catalogue Database on flash-drive. Ottawa. Available from:

  20. Yu, T.T., Kelly, R., Mu, L., Ross, A., Kennedy, J., Broly, P., Xia, F.Y., Zhang, H.C., Wang, B. & Dilcher, D. (2019) An ammonite trapped in Burmese amber. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 11345–11350.

  21. Žikić, V., Stanković, S.S., Petrović, A., Ilić Milošević, M., Tomanović, Ž., Klingenberg, C.P. & Ivanović, A. (2017) Evolutionary relationships of wing venation and wing size and shape in Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 17, 607–617.