Over 1,000 species worldwide.(2)
generally less than 5 mm; often 2-3 mm.
Very large marginal cell
is the hallmark for several genera in this subfamily. Similar wing venation with long, narrow stigma and large marginal cell is also found in some Opiinae.
The vertex of the head has a unique shape
in dorsal view. Besides being large, it looks as though it were taken by the lateral edges and bent backward.
Outward curved "exodont" mandibles
(Also see here
) as opposed to inward curving mandibles
of most mandibulate insects. To visualize a pair of exodont mandibles, place the backs of your hands together and then move your fingers outward.
Adults feed on pollen and nectar. Larvae feed on immature cyclorrhaphous fly life stages.
Female alysiine wasps lay their eggs in the eggs or maggots of their hosts, and emerge from the host puparium after eating and killing the host. Thus they are "egg-pupal" or "larval-pupal" parasitoids. The hosts are cyclorraphous Diptera, which are flies with short antennae in which the adult emerges through the hard puparium through a circular opening. In the case of a parasitized fly puparium, the wasp emerges instead of the adult fly.(2)
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Parasitoids of cyclorrhaphous Diptera (flies).
Alysiine wing venation is often closely similar to that of Opiinae, another koinobiont endoparasitoid of cyclorrhaphous Diptera. They may be easily distinguished from opiines by their exodont mandibles.
Alysiines use these specialized mandibles for digging out of the tough fly puparium after emergence from their own pupae.
Wharton, R.A. Subfamily Alysiinae. In
: R.A. Wharton, P.M. Marsh, and M.J. Sharkey. 1997. Manual of the New World Genera of the Family Braconidae (Hymenoptera). (2)