(suborder Apocrita, superfamily Proctotrupoidea)
Family of minute (usually 2 mm long or less) Hymenoptera that are black or (rarely) brown in colour, and with abdomens that are generally flattened, with sharp lateral margins. The antennae are elbowed or bent, arise low on the face, and are 11- or 12-segmented, with a club. The wing venation is greatly reduced. The larvae are mainly egg parasites, some particularly on grasshoppers and mantids, but the majority parasitize eggs of Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, and Coleoptera. The adult female often clings to the host until eggs are laid, whereupon she dismounts and deposits her own eggs. The family is large and common.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.