3 subfamilies, with >120 spp. in 17 genera in our area and >900 spp. in 45 genera worldwide(1)
Elongated metallic-colored body with a flat mesonotum, wings with a long marginal vein, some blotched. A long and stout mid-tibial spur, and the fore and hind-coxae widely separated.
Some are wingless or have very short wings.
Parasites on a wide range of species of different orders (Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Neuroptera, Orthoptera); some are secondary parasites(1)(2)
Parasites of a wide range of hosts; some species parasitize hosts of several different orders. A few are parasites of spiders.
Some are good jumpers; this ability is made possible by their capacity to bend the head and abdomen over the thorax, somewhat as click beetles. When they die they usually bend the head and abdomen over the thorax.(2)