#Hymathon 2023: 24 hour marathon of Hymenoptera!

Click here for the Business Meeting Recording.

The third edition of Hymathon, the Society’s 24 hour online symposium dedicated to Hymenoptera, took place on 30 November – 1 December 2023.

Hymathon takes place over 24 hours, so wherever you are you can opt to join sessions in the middle of your day or the middle of your night – or indeed both!  This year we had four sessions:

Session 130/11/2023 17:00 UTCHosted by Miles Zhang
Session 230/11/2023 23:00 UTCHosted by Jessica Awad
Session 301/12/2023 05:00 UTCHosted by Erinn Fagan-Jeffries
Session 401/12/2023 11:00 UTCHosted by Cristina Vasilița

(all dates and times given in UTC; conversion from UTC to local time zones can be done e.g. here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/)


  • 52 presentations (including 4 keynotes); presenters from 18 countries
  • 146 participants from 33 countries
  • 2 Women of ISH events
  • 29 entries in the art competition
  • The first ever Hymenoptera Showdown!

Student presentation prizes:

15 minutes presentations:

Session 1: Davide Dal Pos – A revised terminology for male genitalia in Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a special emphasis on Ichneumonoidea

Session 2: Monique Raymond – Investigating one dark taxon, Platygastridae (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea), for biocontrol of another: The Blueberry Gall Midge Complex (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

Session 3: Hsuan-Pu Chen – Incongruences between morphological and molecular species delimitation of the Taiwanese Netelia (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Tryphoninae) species

Session 4: Alexandra Viertler – Phylogenetic placement of Darwin wasps (Ichneumonidae) in amber, before and after CT scanning

5 minutes presentations:

Session 4: Madalene Giannotta – UCE Phylogenomics of the Australasian Mutillidae: investigations into a little-studied parasitoid wasp

Art Competition Winners

Photography – Specimen: Chrysis blanchardi by Paolo Rosa

Chrysis blanchardi Lucas, 1849, female, Spain. Photo camera: Camera Olympus E-M1 Mark II with the Olympus Zuiko 60mm F:2.8 macro and a Mitutoyo plan achromatic LWD 5x, stacked with the software Helicon Focus (ver. 7.6).

Photography – Live Hymenoptera: Pteromalus cassotis by Sloan Tomlinson

テーブル, 覆い, 雪, スキー が含まれている画像


Pteromalus cassotis adults emerging from the pupa of Danaus plexippus. Shot with Canon 5DS using the MP-E 65 lens. Image composited as the adults continued to emerge. Shot in my studio in Hatfield, Massachusetts, United States of America from specimen found in the wild here.

Hymenopterists in action (two winners, drawn for first place): “Squared in” by Shweta Mukundan

建物, レンガ, 女性, 若い が含まれている画像


Potter wasps and mud daubers find the darkest corners to build nests-like the corners of windows which are protected from rain and direct sunlight. In the image you can see me in an acrobatic pose carefully extracting the mud nest stuck to the wall at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. The picture was shot on Canon EOS 750D on 16.03.2023.


“Professional hymenopterists and the acquired taste of inhaling moths” by Alexandra Viertler



We went to Zambia for collecting Darwin wasps (Ichneumonidae) for 2 weeks. The place we stayed was next to Lake Tanganyika, and while checking our light traps we were swarmed by thousands of tiny moths. They flew everywhere: your mouth, nose, eyes and even ears. Some of us were rather unbothered, while others got creative as not to inhale too many moths. (On the images from left to right: Alexandra Viertler, Rita Gonzalez Dominguez, Tamara Spasojevic, Noah Meier)

Fun & Artsy Hymenoptera/Hymenopterists: “Wasp games” by Devon Henderson

テキスト, 部屋, 凧 が含まれている画像


When I first saw a picture of Cameronella, I couldn’t believe how bizarre it looked! Known as the “dart-tailed wasp”, I naturally had to illustrate this in action. Pictured is a species of Pepsis playing a game of darts with said Cameronella. (No wasps were hurt in the making of this drawing). The materials that I used were fine-liner pens and alcohol-based markers.

Showdown Winner

PLATYGASTROIDEA took out first prize and convinced the most hymenopterists that they are the best group of Hymenoptera!


Keynote talks

Our keynote talks were:

Session 1 : Catherine Linnen, University of Kentucky

From genes to species: how ecological divergence causes reproductive isolation

Session 2: Ellen O. Martinson, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico

Venom evolution in parasitoid wasps

Session 3: Ros Gloag, University of Sydney

The ecology and genetics of a honey bee invasion

Session 4: Petr Janšta, Department of Zoology, Charles University, Prague 

Evolution of unusual life histories of Torymidae (Chalcidoidea)

Hymenoptera Showdown – run by  José Fernández-Triana

See the 2023 entries here! (you must be logged into the website to view the page)

Brand new for #Hymathon2023! The Showdown is an opportunity to tell all ISH members why your group is the best (or at least the best loved…) – in three minutes and three slides.


Do you think that your study group is the best in the entire Hymenoptera order? Is there one taxon so amazing you want to tell everyone about it? Then it is your time to shine and embrace some friendly showdown!

Here are the rules:

Participants will have 3 minutes to demonstrate why their group is the best in the entire Hymenoptera, backing up that assertion with a mix of fun, cool and scientific facts; presentations will be 3 slides maximum. Anything can be used: beautiful images of specimens, amazing biological traits, astonishing species diversity, a unique distribution, body size, fossil record, cool names, importance, society recognition… the sky is the limit to brag about your group!

Taxa can be chosen at any level (from suborder to species); depending on the number of participants some categories may be established, for example, entries at family level or higher versus entries at genus level or lower, to guarantee fair comparisons and competition.

The winners will be selected by popular vote and will have the prize to boast about their group to the entire Hymenoptera society!

For more information please contact José Fernández-Triana

Art competition – run by Taisuke Kawano and Cristina Vasilița

All ISH members were invited to take part in an art competition (photography & illustration). Now it is your task, as the Hymathon community, to vote for your favourites!

You must be logged in to the website to view the entries and to have voted

Images were entered in the following categories:

• Photography – Specimen :Specimen images of Hymenoptera.

• Photography – Live Hymenoptera :Live Hymenoptera images photographed in the field or in the indoor studio.

• Photography – Hymenopterists in action :Field work pictures, humorous or intriguing pictures of hymenopterists at work.

• Illustration – Scientific illustrations: Detailed and accurate drawings that represent the morphology and anatomy of Hymenoptera. These illustrations should be designed to provide a clear understanding of the species, highlighting specific features that may be of scientific interest, and can be used in research papers, taxonomic keys, or educational materials.

• Illustration – Fun & Artsy Hymenoptera/Hymenopterists: Creative and imaginative artworks that showcase Hymenoptera or Hymenopterists in a playful, artistic, or unconventional manner. These can be abstract interpretations, cartoons, or any other artistic renditions that bring out the fun and whimsical side of Hymenoptera and their researchers.

For inquiries, contact Taisuke Kawano: eupelmidae@gmail.com

Taisuke Kawano and Cristina Vasilița, #Hymathon2023 Art Competition organizers.

Student presentation prizes

There were student prizes for best standard-length talk in each session, and a prize for the best speed talk throughout all of Hymathon. Students were judged on scientific content and presentation. See here for the scorecard used for the 15 minute talks and here for the scorecard used for 5 minute talks.

Please advertise this event widely, in particular among hymenopterists who may not be ISH members yet. Note that ISH membership is required to attend and present at #Hymathon2023.

We hope you enjoyed Hymathon 2023!

#Hymathon2023 Organising Committee