(suborder Apocrita, superfamily Chalcidoidea)
Family of wasps which are unique in having three-segmented tarsi. Apart from a few wingless females found in figs, all are egg parasites attacking a wide range of hosts, some being very valuable as biological-control agents. Adults are minute (often less than 1 mm long), fringe-winged wasps with greatly reduced venation. Most parasitize the eggs of Lepidoptera, although some attack eggs of water beetles and water bugs, using their tiny wings to swim down to reach their hosts.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.