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Superfamily Ichneumonoidea - Braconid and Ichneumonid Wasps

7009382 - female Ichneumon - Mesochorus giberius - female Ichneumon - Casinaria - female ID for a tiny wasp? - Anomalon - female Wasp 3014792 Ich - Vulgichneumon brevicinctor - female wasp - Rhyssa lineolata Megarhyssa atrata - Black Giant Ichneumonid Wasp - Megarhyssa atrata - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Parasitica" - Parasitoid Wasps)
Superfamily Ichneumonoidea (Braconid and Ichneumonid Wasps)
Pronotum more or less triangular in profile, and extending to tegula or nearly so. Antennae threadlike, usually with at least 16 segments. Hind trochanters 2-segmented. Ovipositor rises in front of apex of abdomen, non-retractable, often as long or longer than body. Venation usually normal. FW without a costal cell.
Gavin Broad's key to the subfamilies of Ichneumonidae(1) may not cover all of the NA subfamilies, but is extremely helpful all the same.

Diagram comparing recurrent vein(s) of Braconid and Ichneumonid wings (Washington State University).
Parasites of other arthropods
A very biodiverse and important group. Many are valuable biocontrol agents that control populations of agricultural and forest pest insects. Wasplike in appearance, but (with rare exceptions) do not sting.

POLYDNAVIRUSES. Two subfamilies of Ichneumonidae (Campopleginae and Banchinae) and 6 subfamilies of Braconidae (Microgastrinae, Miracinae, Cheloninae (including Adeliinae), Cardiochilinae, Khoikhoiinae, and Mendesellinae) carry polydnavirus DNA in their genomes, and release polydnaviruses into the host when the eggs are injected. The polydnaviruses suppress the host's immune system, thus protecting parasitoid progeny from host defenses.(2), (3), (4)
Print References
Internet References
Ichneumonoidea In Catalan, with excellent photos.
Works Cited
1.Broad G. (2011) Identification key to the subfamilies of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera)
2.Polydnaviruses of Parasitic Wasps: Domestication of Viruses To Act as Gene Delivery Vectors
Burke, G.R. and M.R. Strand. 2012. Insects 2012. (3): 91-119. doi:10.3390/insects3010091.
3.Viral DNA delivers wasp's sting
Kwok, Roberta. 2009. Nature international weekly journal of science.
4.When parasitic wasps hijacked viruses: genomic and functional evolution of polydnaviruses
Herniou, E.A., E. Huguet, J. Theze, A. Bezier, G. Periquet, J.M. Drezen. 2013. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Online ISSN: 1471-2970).
5.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
6.Peterson First Guide to Insects of North America
Richard E. White, Christopher Leahy, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.