Scientific name - Taxonomic position - Diagnosis - Images - Distribution - Biology / Hosts - References

Scientific name

Distatrix papilionis (Viereck) (=Apanteles papilionis Viereck)

Taxonomic position

Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae


Female: Head and mesosoma dark pitchy brown to black; metasoma yellow-orange, apically black. Antenna (Fig. 1) 18-segmented, appears to be subdivided with tube-like longitudinal sensillae ('placode sensillae') arranged in two ranks per flagellomere (Fig. 2). Metasomal tergum 2 with median area defined by grooves diverging at an angle greater than 110-120 degrees; apical margin concave, median region sometimes strongly raised. Fore wing venation as in Fig. 3. Vannal lobe of hind wing subapically flattened or even concave, setae usually sparse or absent over flattened part of margin. Apical setae of ovipositor sheath sparse and reduced in size, less than half as long as apical width of sheaths. 

Male: Similar to female, except gaster mostly dark brown to black, only anteriorly yellow. 

Antenna    Fig. 1. Female antenna

Placode sensillae on antenna    Fig. 2. Placode sensillae on antenna

Forewing venation   Fig. 3. Forewing venation

Thorax, dorsal view   Fig. 4. Thorax and propodeum, dorsal view

Adult, dorsal view  Adult, lateral view  Adult, dorsal view   

Adult - dorsal and lateral view



Larvae of D. papilionis emerging from the larva of citrus butterfly


      Cocoons of D. papilionis

    Adult female


Widely distributed almost throughout India.

Biology / Hosts

Distatrix papilionis is a gregarious endoparasitoid of the citrus butterfly, Papilio demoleus L. The parasitoid is arrhenotokous and prefers the first four larval instars for parasitization. The larval development of the parasite was significantly influenced by the larval instars of the host. The duration of parasitic development decreased with increasing host age (instar) (Krishnamoorthy, 1987). The extent of parasitism varies from negligible to substantial levels and has a close association with minimum temperature and rainfall (Singh, 1994).


  • Narayanamma, V.L., Savithri, P., Rao, A.R. 2003. Natural enemies and per cent parasitisation of citrus butterfly, Papilio demoleus on sweet orange and acid lime. Indian Journal of Entomology, 65(4): 461-464.

  •  Krishnamoorthy, A. 1987. Influence of different larval instars of Papilio demoleus L. on the development, oviposition and sex-ratio of the parasite Apanteles papilionis Viereck. Journal of Biological Control, 1(2): 75-79.

  • Singh, S. P. 1994. Fifteen years of AICRP on biological control. Technical Bulletin No. 8, Project Directorate of Biological Control, Bangalore 24, India. 320 p.