; order Hymenoptera, suborder Apocrita)
Very large superfamily of mostly small to minute, parasitic (sometimes phytophagous) wasps which occur almost everywhere and have very diverse forms and habits. Adults are 0.2–3.0 mm long, the majority being 1–3 mm. Wing venation is greatly reduced, the pronotum squarish, the antennae elbowed and usually short, and the ovipositor short. Adults are usually black, blue-black, or greenish, and many have a metallic sheen. The wings are normally held flat over the abdomen although some are brachypterous or apterous. The larvae may be parasitic, hyperparasitic, or phytophagous, and many species exhibit polyembryony. Many chalcidoid species have a modified middle leg and can jump with agility.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.