Ceraphronoidea: Brief Summary
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The Ceraphronoidea are a small hymenopteran superfamily that includes only two families, and a total of some 800 species, though a great many species are still undescribed. It is a poorly known group as a whole, and most are believed to be parasitoid or hyperparasitoids.
The two families are unified by several characters, the most visible of which is their wing venation is greatly reduced in a very specific and unique way; the costal and radial veins have fused so no costal cell is present, a short break occurs at the stigma, and the only vein in the wing membrane itself is the radial sector, which is short and curved, arising from the stigma. The taxon was erected by Alexander Henry Haliday.
provided by Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
Superfamily rank for this group was first proposed by Masner in 1956 (Acta Faun. Ent. Mus. Nat. Pragae 1: 101), although without indication of basic differences from the Proctotrupoidea. In 1967, however, Masner and Dessart (Inst. Roy. Sci. Nat. de Belg., Bul. 43: 1-33) defined the superfamily in detail and recognized it as comprising two families, Ceraphronidae and Megaspilidae, the latter being divided into the subfamilies Megaspilinae and Lagynodinae. This classification appears to be sound. The members of this superfamily are remarkable for the possession of two apical spurs on the anterior tibiae. ~In his 1914 revision of this group Kieffer used the name Calliceratidae, based on Calliceras Nees, 1834, since Ceraphron Jurine, 1807, which had been considered the type-genus of the family, was a junior homonym of Ceraphron Panzer, 1805. Kieffer was generally followed in the literature of the succeeding thirty years. However, in its Opinion 174, issued in 1946, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature suppressed Ceraphron Panzer, under suspension of the Rules, and validated Ceraphron Jurine with C. sulcatus Jurine, 1807, as type-species; since then the names Ceraphron and Ceraphronidae have again come into general use. ~Apparently species of this superfamily are largely hyperparasites, developing especially on larvae of Aphidiidae, Braconidae, Ichneumonidae, Bethylidae, Dryinidae and Tachinidae. Some, however, are evidently primary parasites of Aleyrodidae, various small Diptera (i. e., Cecidomyiidae, Phoridae), certain neuropteroids and some cynipoid gall-makers; others occur in ant nests where they presumably develop as parasites of certain myrmecophilous Diptera.