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The genus Oxyscelio Kiefer is comprised of relatively robust platygastroid wasps that occur across equatorial and east Africa, Madagascar, the southeastern part of the Palaearctic, and the Indo-Malayan, Australasian and southwest Pacific regions. They are relatively easily identified by the fore wing submarginal vein being distant from wing margin, the marginal vein being very short, a postmarginal vein being virtually absent, and the metascutellum being plate-like. In addition, many species can be recognised by the presence of a frontal depression on the head.

The genus is highly diverse and comprises in excess of 200 species worldwide. It has been recorded from Africa, the Indo-Malayan and eastern Palearctic regions (Burks et al. 2013a). Following (Burks et al. 2013b), 80 species are known from Australasia and the southwest Pacific. The genus is found broadly across mainland Australia and Tasmania but not New Zealand. In the southwest Pacific it has been recorded from Papua New Guinea, New Britain, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.

Oxyscelio has been collected from a large range of habitats from rainforest, open dry forest, grasslands to more open, dry environments including the malle, semi-arid and arid zones of Australia. Species have been collected using a variety of standard collecting techniques for small parasitic Hymenoptera, but they can be particularly numerous in yellow pan traps, even in closed habitats, indicating that many species may be living close to the ground.

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© Roger A. Burks

Supplier: Katja Schulz

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