Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
for changes suggested based on a recent phylogenetic analysis see(1)
Explanation of Names
"Chalcid" is usually used to refer to any member of this superfamily, rather than of Chalcididae only; "chalcidoid" is recommended as unambiguous
>2000 spp. in ~470 genera of 18 families in our area; estimated >500,000 spp. worldwide, of which a mere 22,000 so far described; 19 families with >90 subfamilies currently recognized(2)(3)
0.1‒20 mm, avg. 1.5 mm, usually <3 mm(2)(3)
If wings present and developed, fore wing with 2 or fewer cells enclosed by tubular veins; venation reduced or absent, without a tubular vein (C absent) on basal part of anterior margin (a vein may occur on apical half of anterior margin); sometimes fore wing with no venation at all. Mymaridae have the head with dark H-shaped mark between eyes, ocelli, and antennal bases, which are usually closer to eyes than to one another, and the hind wing stalked basally. Most other winged Chalcidoidea do not have these traits. Pronotum in lateral view usually separated from tegula by an additional sclerite known as the prepectus. Body often with metallic color, or antenna with at least 1 minute, ring-like flagellomere just after pedicel, or both.
If wings reduced or absent, male Agaonidae distinct in that they are found exclusively inside figs (fruit of Ficus
), the antenna are shorter than head, and the metasoma is often long, weakly sclerotized, and pale; pronotum in lateral view not extending to tegula; integument usually thin, especially dorsal part of metasoma; body almost always collapsed in air-dried specimens (5)
most parasitize eggs or immature stages of other insects or arachnids; others feed on plant tissues of stems, leaves, seeds, or flowers, or make galls(2)
Wasps that harbor the bacteria Wolbachia
produce only females(6)
• Life histories summarized in (3)(4)
Some are used to control insect pests (Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera). Males of many species produce sounds.