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This is a large, fairly common group of about 600 N. American species. Larvae are parasites of various other insects: Eulophinae are parasites of leaf miners; Tetrastichinae are egg parasites or attack larvae and pupae of Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera; Entedontinae are chiefly parasites of small larvae in cases or leaf mines; Aphelininae are parasites of aphids, scale insects, and whiteflies; Elachertinae and Elasminae are parasites of caterpillars, the latter as hyperparasites attacking bra ron id«; a nd ichneumons in the caterpillars.

ENCYRTIDS Family Encyrtidae

Identification: 1-2 mm. and usually black or brown; some are wingless. Mesopleura and mesonotum convex. Parapsidal sutures indistinct or lacking. Marginal vein very short. Scutellum not much wider than long. Apical spur of front tibiae large and curved, of middle tibiae large and stout.

The encyrtids are a large and widely distributed group. Larvae of most species are parasites of scale insects and white-flies. Many species are poly embryonic, with 10 to over 1000 young developing from a single egg.

THYSANIDS Family Thysanidae Not illus.

Identification: Similar to Encyrtidae but marginal vein as long as submarginal, and scutellum much wider than long.

Thysanids are small and stout-bodied. Larvae are mostly hyperparasites, attacking parasites of scale insects and other Homoptera. The group is small and rare.

EUPELMIDS Family Eupelmidae

Identification: Similar to Encyrtidae but marginal vein long, mesonotum flattened or concave, and parapsidal sutures usually distinct and nearly straight.

Eupelmids are black or brown and usually over 2 mm. Some species have the wings greatly reduced. Larvae are parasites of various insects and spiders. Eupelmids are fairly common, but generally not as common as encyrtids.

TANAOSTIGMATIDS Family Tanaostigmatidae Not illus. Identification: Similar to Eupelmidae but mesonotum slightly convex, parapsidal sutures complete and curved laterally, scapulae short. 1st antennal segment of 9 somewhat dilated or flattened laterally; terminal antennal segments of cf with 4 branches.

Four rare species have been reported from Florida, Arizona, and California. Most larvae are gall makers.

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