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Introduction

Wasps in the family Evaniidae have uniquely shaped metasomas with tubular petioles and shortened, laterally compressed metasomal segments 2-8 (Fig. 1). When alive these wasps often pump their metasomas up and down, earning them the common name of ensign or hatchet wasps. Because females oviposit into cockroach egg cases (oothecae) these wasps are commonly found in houses and other buildings. They can also be seen drinking nectar on flowers or searching through leaf litter for egg cases of native cockroaches. Currently the family is divided into 31 genera, 11 of which are represented only in the fossil record, and 455 species (20 of which are fossils) (Deans 2005).

Fig. 1 Lateral habitus of Semaeomyia sp. showing the uniquely shaped metasoma, 13-segmented antenna, short and stocky body, and short, thin ovipositor.

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