Extraordinary drilling capabilities of the tiny parasitoid Eupelmus messene Walker (Hymenoptera, Eupelmidae)

Matvey I. Nikelshparg, Evelina I. Nikelshparg, Vasily V. Anikin, Alexey A. Polilov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In the course of evolution, animals and particularly insects, have developed efficient and complex mechanisms for survival. Biomimetics aims to find applications for these features of organisms (or organs) in industry, agriculture, and medicine. One of these features is the thin, flexible, and mobile insect ovipositor, which is also capable of carrying substances and drilling various substrates, usually of plant origin. Despite the well-studied structure of the ovipositor, the principles of its operation and real possibilities remain poorly understood. In our study, we first discovered an unusual behavioral pattern of oviposition of the female parasitoid Eupelmus messene Walker (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae): she drilled with her ovipositor through the wall of a polystyrene Petri dish and laid her egg outside the dish. Due to the transparency of the plastic, we described the technique of ovipositor movement and studied its structure using scanning electron microscopy. Our research may contribute to developing minimally invasive guided probes and various other instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hymenoptera Research
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Chalcidoidea
  • gall
  • oviposition
  • ovipositor structure
  • parasitoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Insect Science


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