Platygastridae (parasitoids)

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Trissolcus mitsukurii (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture
Source: IPM Images

Platygastridae (parasitoids)

The traditional taxonomic system treated the families Scelionidae and Platygastridae separately under the superfamily Platygastroidea. However, most authors now recognize only the Platygastridae after molecular studies showed that the traditional system was polyphyletic.

Most species are egg parasitoids of Lepidoptera, Hemiptera and Orthoptera. This includes all genera previously under the Scelionidae, while many platygastrids (Platygastridae in the traditional sense) oviposit either in eggs or early larvae of gall midges (Cecidomyiidae) and complete their development in the larvae. The adults are in general small (0.6 to 10 mm), black and have elbowed antennae.

Several species are important natural enemies of insect pests like Trissolcus basalis, an egg parasitoid of Pentatomidae, or Telenomus busseolae, an egg parasitoid of Noctuidae.


The following genera are currently entered under this family: