What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

Logo: What Bug Is That? Logo: Taxonomy Research & Information Network



Kinzelbach (1970) placed the subfamilies Mengenillinae , Iberoxeninae and Congoxeninae in the family Mengenillidae and treated the Mengeidae as a separate family. This is the only extant family in the suborder Mengenillidia and it is distinguished from all other Strepsiptera by the presence of the free-living female imago. In the adult male the 2-segmented mandibles are well developed and blade-like, and the aedeagus is not hooked. Mengenillidae are parasites of Thysanura and both sexes pupate externally from the host under stones and tree-stumps. No females have been found in Australia and the males are from light traps or collected enmeshed in spiders webs.


Of the 3 genera only Mengenilla is represented in Australia. Eoxenos occurs in the Mediterranean region and Congoxenos in Central Africa. Species of Mengenilla have been described from the Mediterranean region, China, the U.S.S.R. (Kazakhstan), Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Arabia and Australia, and at least one undescribed species occurs in Africa. A total of 20 species are known from Qld, W.A., the N.T., N.S.W. and the A.C.T., but only two of these, M. gracilipes from Bridgetown, W.A. (Lea 1910) and M. australiensis from Kulgera, N.T. (Kifune and Hirashima 1983), have been named.

  • Eoxenos laboulbenei , adult female