; suborder Symphyta, superfamily Siricoidea)
Small and relatively rare family of symphytans which differ from other groups in having a long, slender, curved ovipositor which is spirally twisted within the body of the female. The adults resemble horntails but are much smaller and behave like chalcid wasps. The antennae arise below the eyes and just above the mouth, and the eyes are hairy (a feature unique among the Symphyta). Little is known about the biology of the adults, but they may feed on frass and fungi in the tunnels of wood-boring beetles. The apodous larvae are ectoparasitic on the larvae of cerambycid and buprestid wood-boring beetles. The family is regarded as representing an intermediate stage between the Symphyta and the Apocrita.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.