Encyrtidae

These small parasitic wasps are 0.5-3 mm long, and have a robust body and are usually fully winged. The body is metallic yellow to orange, red or brown. The four- to nine-segmented antenna of the female is cylindrical to slightly flat; in the male it is three- to eight-segmented. Wing venation is limited and the wings are clear. This family is employed in applied biological control programs of insect pests, and many encyrtid species have been used successfully against a variety of agricultural pests. Species in the genus Cerchysius are parasites of anobiid larvae, and Blatticida pulchra and Blatticidella ashmeadi are reported as parasites ofcockroach oothecae.

Cockroach eggcase parasite, Comperia merceti Adults are about 3 mm long. The body is blackish brown with pale white bands on the legs and antennae. It is an ootheca parasite of Supellalongipalpa,butdoesnotattack Blattellagermanica ootheca.

Eggs are deposited singly into the oothecae; 5-25 eggs may be deposited, and parasitized oothecae may have 1-50 punctures. Females prefer to lay eggs in oothecae that are about 2 weeks old, but eggs are laid in oothecae less than 1 week old, and in those in the green-band stage of development. Development is 30-41 days at about 20 °C, and usually all the cockroach eggs may be eaten, but when not, cockroach nymphs may successfully develop. Adults are very active and, when populations are large, they can be found running and hopping on surfaces; they continually touch the surface with their antennae. They are attracted to light and are often found at windows. This species occurs nearly throughout the USA, Hawaii, and Central and South America.

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