Microhymenopteran families of El Edén
Diagnostic characteristics:<2mm in length, non-metallic coloration, metasoma
broadly joined to thorax, tarsal formula 5-5-5, 5-4-5, or 4-4-4.
Biology:Mainly primary or secondary parasitoids of Homoptera and eggs of
various insect orders.
Size:40 genera and 1120 species (worldwide).
Diagnostic characteristics:1-10mm in length, non-metallic coloration (typically
black, orange, brown), vein 2m-cu of forewing absent, vein 1r-m of hind wing
usually with basal separation of R1 and Rs, metasomal tergum 2+3 fused.
Biology:Varied. Mainly primary endoparasitoids of holometabolous larvae
Although hemimetabolous nymphs are attacked and some species are
Size:>500 genera and >10,000 species (worldwide).
Diagnostic characteristics:1-3mm in length, non-metallic coloration (brown,
orange, black), metasoma with wide base, if winged then stigma long and linear.
Biology:Mainly primary parasitoids on various insect orders or secondary
parasitoids via Braconidae.
Size:?? genera and 360 species (worldwide).
Diagnostic characteristics:1-27mm in length, usually non-metallic (brown,
black, orange), metafemur enlarged and typically dentate ventrally, metatibia
Biology:Mainly primary parasitoids of Lepidoptera, also on Diptera, Coleoptera,
Hymenoptera and a few Neuroptera. Some secondary parasitoids of Lepidoptera
through Ichneumonoidea or Tachinidae.
Size:195 genera and 1875 species (worldwide).
Diagnostic characteristics:1-8mm in length, usually non-metallic (brown, black, orange) and highly polished, antenna elbowed and often inserted on distinct transverse ledge.
Biology:Primary endoparasitoids of Diptera (larval-pupal or pupal).
Size:150 genera and 2300 species (worldwide).
Diagnostic characteristics:£ 4mm in length, metanotum with hyaline, triangular
dorsal lamella projecting posteriorly over pornotum, expanded and compressed
metacoxa, metatibia with characteristic setal patterns (elongate or diamond-
Biology:Mainly primary ectoparasitoids of larvae and/or pupae of cryptic
Lepidoptera or Polistes wasps. Some secondary parasitoids of Lepidoptera
Size:1 genus and >200 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-10mm in length, mesoscutum transverse, forewing
with linea calva, mesocoxa inserted at or before the middle of mesopleuron,
mesopleuron convex, cerci often advanced anteriorly on gaster.
Biology:Mainly primary endoparasitoids of many arthropods (Acari, Araneae,
Insecta) or secondary parasitoids via Ichneumonoidea and Chalcidoidea.
Size:450 genera and >3,200 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:0.4-6mm in length, 4-segmented tarsi, short straight
Biology:Very diverse. Mainly primary endoparasitoids of many insect orders or gregarious ectoparasitoids or secondary parasitoids.
Size:540 genera and ~3,900 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-15mm in length, mandibles elongate and sickle-
shaped, pronotum not visible in dorsal view, gaster usually petiolate.
Biology:All are primary parasitoids of ant larvae/pupae.
Diagnostic characteristics:No unique characteristics are found in this family.
Many characters that identify some eupelmids are often shared with other
Chalcidoidea. Long mesotibial spur, expanded mesopleuron (females only), eyes
with diverging inner margins (at least ventrally), protibia with its dorsoapical
margin with more than one small, curved spicules.
Biology:Ectoparasitoids on larvae or prepupae of concealed insects,
endoparsitoids/predators of insect or spider eggs.
Size:45 genera and 850 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-20mm in length, often coarsely sculptured but can
have fine, transverse reticulations, pronotum quadrate in dorsal view (not unique).
Biology:Entomophagous, phytophagous or both. Attack a broad range of insects
(taxa and life stage) and plants (taxa and plant parts).
Size:79 genera and 1200 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-10mm in length, non-metallic coloration (typically black, orange, brown), vein 2m-cu of forewing present and with vein 1/Rs+M absent, vein 1r-m of hind wing usually opposite or apical to basal separation of R1 and Rs, metasomal tergum 2 and 3 separate.
Biology:Varied. Mainly primary endoparasitoids of holometabolous larvae or
Chelicerata. Primarily attack Symphyta and Lepidoptera
Size:>500? genera and ~60,000 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:2-17mm in length, usually coarsely sculptured, wing
folds longitudinally, ovipositor sheaths held dorsally over gaster, expanded and
Biology:Primary ectoparasitoids of larvae of bees and wasps.
Size:4 valid genera and 240 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:2-3mm in length, metasoma neck-like, if winged then
stigma large, usually black or yellow.
Biology:Primary parasitoids of Homoptera, Neuroptera and Diptera, some
secondaries on aphids via Braconidae.
Size:14 valid genera and 450 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:0.2-2.5mm in length, dark cuticular bars and
associated sutures on vertex and face, hind wing stalked with membrane not
extending to base.
Biology:Primary endoparasitoids of eggs.
Size:100 genera and 1,400 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:"Little bulldogs", mesosoma compact-short and high
in lateral view, metasomal terga 2+3 fused dorsally, gaster high and triangular in
Biology:Primary and secondary parasitoids on 8 insect orders.
Size:6 of 30 nominal genera considered valid and 260 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-2mm in length, primarily black, slender, antennae
elbowed, forewing usually veinless.
Biology:Primary parasitoids of insect eggs (Diptera, Homoptera) or larvae.
Size:60 genera and 1100 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-25mm in length, no single character defines this
family, polyphyletic assemblage based upon symplesiomorphies, most possess
Biology:Very diverse. Attack mainly larvae and/or pupae on or in a wide variety
Size:845 genera and 4115 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:1-2.5mm in length (can be larger or smaller), usually
black but can also be yellow or orange, metasoma often depressed dorsoventrally.
Biology:Usually solitary endoparasitoid of insect/spider eggs.
Size:150 genera and 3000 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:£ 4mm in length, disc of forewing mostly bare, 2-4
anelli with unsegmented clava, propodeum with triangular median region set off
by lateral sulci.
Biology:Primary parasitoids of Homoptera or secondaries via Diptera and
Size:4 genera and 80 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:2-7mm in length, mesopleuron expanded, prepectus
expanded and produced anteriorly.
Biology:Phytophagous gall-formers often attacking Fabaceae.
Size:15 genera and 90 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:2-12mm in length, exserted cerci arising from
secondary or tertiary division of gastral tergum 8 and by gastral tergum 9 being
free on all sides.
Biology:Phytophagous, entomophagous or both. Some attack insect eggs.
Size:65 genera and 875 species.
Diagnostic characteristics:0.2-1.5mm in length, tarsi 3 segmented, metasoma
broadly joined to thorax.
Biology:Solitary or gregarious primary endoparasitoids on insect eggs.
Size:80 genera and 600 species.