Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
classification in the guide follows(1)
>1700 spp. in >200 genera of 36 subfamilies in our area; close to 20,000 spp. in >1000 genera of ~50 subfamilies worldwide. Ghahari et al. (2003) estimate 120,000 species.
subfamilies not yet in the guide:
Adeliinae ( spp. in 2 genera in our area)
Dirrhopinae ( spp. in 1 genus in our area)
Exothecinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Hormiinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Masoninae (2 spp. in 1 genus in our area. Rare. southeastern USA)
Meteorideinae ( spp. in 1 genus in our area)
Microtypinae ( spp. in 1 genus in our area)
Rhysipolinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
Rhyssalinae ( spp. in _ genera in our area)
rarely over 15 mm; smallest 1-3 mm
Antennae apparently with 16 or more segments
Female ovipositor from very long
For more info see also (2)
Diagrams of braconid body and wing morphology in (3)
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.(4)
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:
Interestingly, phytophagous primary gall-forming species exist, at least in the subfamily Doryctinae (Marsh, 1991).
molecular evidence supports the monophyly of the cluster of subfamilies with cyclostome "mouth"(1)
defined by the dorsoventrally short clypeus and the concave labrum, bordered ventrally by the mandibles:
Some are used for pest control, especially in agriculture.
Marsh, P. M. 1991. Description of a phytophagous doryctinae braconid from Brazil (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 93:92-95.