Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Braconidae - Braconid Wasps

Braconid or Ichneumon? - Atanycolus - female wasp Cremnops comstocki - female Aleiodes texanus Wasp Braconid ex Chrysaster ostensackenella - Mirax - female Braconid ex agromyzid ex Solidago rugosa - female braconid wasp - Yelicones nigromarginatus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" (parasitic Apocrita))
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea (Braconids and Ichneumons)
Family Braconidae (Braconid Wasps)
>1700 spp. in >200 genera of 36 subfamilies in our area, about 14,890 spp. in __ genera of ~50 subfamilies worldwide (info courtesy Drs Carlson, Fortier, and Sharkey). Published estimates as of 1984 estimate that only one half to one third of all existing species had been formally described at that time.
subfamilies not yet in the guide:
Adeliinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Dirrhopinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Exothecinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Hormiinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Masoninae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Meteorideinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Microtypinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Pambolinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Rhysipolinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Rhyssalinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
rarely over 15 mm
Antennae apparently with 16 or more segments
Hind trochanters 2-segmented
One or no recurrent veins
Females often with long ovipositors
For more info see also(1) and (2)
recurrent vein in braconid vs ichneumon wasps
Life Cycle
Many life histories adapted to parasitizing hosts as diverse as aphids, bark beetles, and foliage-feeding caterpillars. Many species are egg-larval parasitoids, laying eggs within host eggs and then not developing until the host is in the larval stage. Unlike ichneumon wasps, many pupate in silken cocoons outside the body of the host and others spin cocoons entirely apart from the host.(3) Also unlike ichneumonid wasps, very few braconids use host pupae to complete their life cycles, except for fly parasitoids in Alysiinae and Opiinae.
Examples of life cycles:
Some are used for pest control, especially in agriculture.
Print References
Wharton, R. A., P. M. Marsh, and M. J. Sharkey (eds). 1997. Manual of the New World Genera of the Family Braconidae (Hymenoptera). The International Society of Hymenopterists. Washington DC.
Works Cited
1.Broad G. (2011) Identification key to the subfamilies of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera)
2.Manual of the New World Genera of the Family Braconidae (Hymenoptera)
Wharton, R.A., P.M. Marsh, M.J. Sharkey. 1997. International Society of Hymenopterists.
3.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.