The genus was first erected for a single species from Indonesia, Oxyscelio foveatus, by Kieffer (1907), which he later treated as a subgenus of Chromoteleia Ashmead (Kieffer 1910a) but later raised again to generic rank (Kieffer 1926). Following its original description the status of Oxyscelio and the genera that surround it was particularly confusing. This is clearly evident in the fact that, other than the type species, all taxa described prior to 1930 that are currently accommodated in Oxyscelio were described under other generic names. This situation was resolved by Dodd (1931) who recognized a range of species from the Oriental and Australian regions as being congeneric based on several key characters, the form of the fore wing venation (outlined above) and the structure of the metanotal plate. In so doing he treated Dicroteleia Kieffer, Camptoteleia Kieffer and Xenoteleia Kieffer as junior synomyms of Oxyscelio, and transferred 32 species to that genus including all Australian taxa that he had preciously described under Sceliomorpha Ashmead (sensu Kieffer 1926). This work by Dodd (1931) and his other studies on various scelionid genera around that time provided significant taxonomic stability and are testament to his thoughtful and perceptive approach to discriminating genera and species.
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