Brief Summary

    Fairyfly: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    The Mymaridae, commonly known as fairyflies or fairy wasps, are a family of chalcid wasps found in temperate and tropical regions throughout the world. It contains around 100 genera with 1400 species.

    Fairyflies are very tiny insects, like most chalcid wasps. They generally range from 0.5 to 1.0 mm (0.020 to 0.039 in) long. They include the world's smallest known insect, with a body length of only 0.139 mm (0.0055 in), and the smallest known flying insect, only 0.15 mm (0.0059 in) long. They usually have nonmetallic black, brown, or yellow bodies. The antennae of the females are distinctively tipped by club-like segments, while male antennae are thread-like. Their wings are usually slender and possess long bristles, giving them a hairy or feathery appearance, although some species may have greatly reduced stubby wings or lack wings altogether. They can be distinguished from other chalcid wasps by the H-shaped pattern of sutures on the front of their heads.

    Fairyflies are some of the most common chalcid wasps, but are rarely noticed by humans because of their extremely small sizes. Their adult lifespans are very short, usually lasting for only a few days. All known fairyflies are parasitoids of the eggs of other insects, and several species have been successfully used as biological pest control agents.

    The fossil record of fairyflies extends from at least the Albian age (about 100 Mya) of the Early Cretaceous. They are the only chalcid wasp family known from the Cretaceous, and thus are considered the most primitive family within Chalcidoidea.

    Brief Summary
    provided by Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
    All members of this family are egg parasites. The mymarids are easily recognized as a distinct family, but their fundamental thoracic structure shows them to have been derived from the same stem that produced the present-day Eulophidae.

Comprehensive Description