Engyrtid wasps

I his large family is (|uite variable, especially in the appearance of the head and antennae. Most of these small species are robust, slender, or slightly flat. They can be orange, red, or brown, often with a metallic sheen. The thorax is convex, and the middle legs, which are used for jumping, have a large, curved tibial spur.

• life Cycle The females of most species locate and lay eggs in the nymphs and adults of other insects - generally scale insects, mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies. Some, however, specialize in parasitizing caterpillars or weevil grubs. A few are hyperparasitoids. Sometimes the eggs divide repeatedly to produce anything from 10 to 2,000 larvae, depending on the size of the host. Pupation occurs inside the host's body.

• occl kufncf Worldwide. In a wide variety of habitats, wherever hosts arc found.

• remark These wasps are among the most important biological control agents, and many species have been used against serious crop pests. Coptdosoma koehleri, for example, is used to control the Potato Tuber Moth in India.

CoriI)()S()MA SPECIES is found in parts of Europe and Asia. Their hosts are various moth species, including those belonging to the family Noctuidae (see p. 165).

I ,ARVAE vary, but may be pale and taper evenly toward the rear.

Length yM_y,2jn (Q.5-4.5mm), most '/u-'/uan (l-2mm) | Larval feedinS habits

0rder HYMENOPTERA

Family ElJLOPHIDAE

No. of species } 400

smooth, distinct black, shiny female has pointed

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