The family contains large bacilliform viruses which propagate in the nuclei of infected host cells and have a circular, double-stranded DNA genome. The hosts include insects, but also Crustaceans. They are distantly related to the Baculoviridae and have 15 of the 31 baculovirus core genes. Unlike the baculoviruses they infect larval as well as adult stages of arthropods and do not have virus particles embedded in protein crystals. There is also some relationship between the family Nudiviridae and the family Polydnaviridae which contains viruses used by parasitoids to suppress the immune system of their hosts.
The following genera are currently entered under Nudiviridae: