All 4 genera occur in North America, although Macrocentrus and Hymenochaonia are the dominant groups in the New World. Hymenochaonia is mostly Neotropical. (Wharton, R.A. 1997. Subfamily Macrocentrinae. In:)
large; most larger than 5 mm.
Ovipositor of females as long or longer than metasoma in some (genera Hymenochaonia, Macrocentrus); in others, short (Dolichozele, Austrazele).
Peg-like teeth on trochantellas of legs, including middle legs
and hind legs
absent or very shallow in Hymenochaonia, Dolichozele
, large and deep in Macrocentrus and Austrozele
. (Wharton 1997(1)
World wide. Macrocentrus
is dominant in temperate North America. (Wharton 1997.(1)
Larvae are parasitic on Lepidoptera larvae.
Solitary or gregarious koinobiont endoparasitoids
. Where known, gregarious species are polyembryonic
, as are others. For example, in M. ancylivorus
: although only 1 individual of this species emerges from its host, initial development is polyembryonic. (Wharton 1997.(1)
Many species are pale in color, and crepuscular or nocturnal.
For biological information, see:
Clausen, C.P. 1940. Entomophagous Insects. McGraw-Hill, New York and London. 688 pp.
Shaw, M.R. and T. Huddleston. 1991. Classification and biology of braconid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 7(11): 1-126.
Daniel, D.M. 1932. Macrocentrus ancylivorus Rohwer, a polyembryonic braconid parasite of the Oriental fruit moth. New York State Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 187: 1-101.
Ding, D., P.D. Swedenborg, and R.L. Jones. 1989. Chemical stimuli in host-seeking behavior of Macrocentrus grandii (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Annals of the Entomological Society of America 82:232-236.