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Chalcidoidea (Agaonidae, Aphelinidae, Chalcididae, Elasmidae, Encyrtidae, Eucharitidae, Eulophidae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Leucopsidae, Mymaridae, Mymerommatidae, Ormyridae, Torymidae, Perilampidae, Pteromalidae, Rotoitidae, Signiphoridae, Tanaostigmatidae, Tetracampidae, Torymidae, Trichogrammatidae, etc.) --

  <General References>



          This is a large Superfamily of important insects that have been deployed successfully in biological control worldwide.  The number of species is debatable but many specialists admit to being aware of only a fraction of those still awaiting discovery.  Their taxonomy is often difficult as the characters used often show wide variation. Most  species are  small or very tiny, some being  less than 0.4 mm in long.  Chalcids occur almost everywhere, but because of their small size they are usually overlooked.. Their habitat is in a variety of situations, principally on flowers and plant foliage. They usually hold their wings flat over the abdomen when at rest, and many seem to jump when they begin to fly.


          Wing venation is a key diagnostic, and the antennae are usually elbowed and never contain more than 13 segments.  The pronotum is quadrate and does not reach the tegulae, and there is usually a prepectus present on the side of the thorax.  Most of the chalcids are dark to black in color, but many are blue or green in color with a metallic sheen.  Most species have reduced wing venation, and there is a lot of variation in body shape.  Some have peculiar, even bizarre, shapes. The wings are reduced or absent in some groups.


          Most of the chalcids are parasitoids of other insects, attacking the egg or larval stage of their hosts. Most hosts are Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Homoptera.  Because these host groups contain many agricultural pests, it is obvious that the chalcids are a valuable group for natural control. Many species have been imported into different countries for biological control. The larvae of few species are phytophagous feeding inside seeds, stems, or galls.



References:   Please refer to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library  ]


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Szelenyi, G. 1957. The genera of the subfamily Monodontomerinae (Hym. Chalcidoidea). Annales Historico‑Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici, series nova 8:381‑388.


Tachikawa, T. 1963. Revisional studies on the Encyrtidae of Japan (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Memoirs of the Ehime University, Section VI (Agriculture) 9(1):1 ‑264.


Tachikawa, T. 1981. Hosts of encyrtid genera in the world (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Memoirs of the College of Agriculture, Ehime University 25(2):85‑ 110.


Trjapitzin, V.A. 1971. Review of genera of Palaearctic encyrtids (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae). Akademiia Nauk SSSR, Paraziticheskie Nasekomye‑entomofagi, Trudy Vsesoyuznogo entomologicheskogo Obshchestva, Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", Leningradskoe Otdelenie, Leningrad 54:68--155. [In Russian.]


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