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Brief Summary

    Encyrtidae: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Encyrtidae is a large family of parasitic wasps, with some 3710 described species in about 455 genera. The larvae of the majority are primary parasitoids on Hemiptera, though other hosts are attacked, and details of the life history can be variable (e.g., some attack eggs, some attack larvae, others are hyperparasites, and some Encyrtidae develop as parasitoids of ticks). They are found throughout the world in virtually all habitats, and are extremely important as biological control agents. They may also present as an ecological threat to the population of some species. For example, the endangered Papilio homerus butterfly is parasitized at a rate of 77%. Parasitic wasps are the main contributor to egg mortality in the butterfly species.

    Some species exhibit a remarkable developmental phenomenon called "polyembryony", in which a single egg multiplies clonally in the host and produces large numbers of identical adult wasps. Even more remarkably, some of the larvae are larger than the others and act in a similar way to the "soldiers" of eusocial insects, attacking any other wasp larvae already in the body of the host, and dying without reproducing ("altruism").

    Wasps in this family are relatively easy to separate from other Chalcidoidea by features of the wing venation, the migration of the cerci forwards on the metasoma (and accompanying distortion of the tergites), and a greatly enlarged mesopleuron with anteriorly positioned mesocoxae.

     src= Encyrtid thorax; "h" is the mesopleuron

    An extinct genus Archencyrtus has been described from the Middle Eocene age Sakhalin amber in Eastern Russia.

    Brief Summary
    provided by Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
    The higher classification of the Encyrtidae used in this catalog differs drastically from that proposed in the 1951 edition. Some explanation is necessary. Burks has considered the Signiphoridae and Aphelinidae as subfamilies of the Encyrtidae. In the 1951 catalog the aphelinids were considered a subfamily of the Eulophidae and the signiphorids were treated as a distinct family (Thysanidae). The aphelinids and signiphorids appear more nearly related to the Encyrtidae than to other families of chalcidoids. In placing the aphelinids under the Encyrtidae, the subfamilies of aphelinids (sensu Ferriere, 1965, Faune de l'Europe Bassin Medit., 1: 1-206) have been relegated to tribal status. ~Recently Trjapitzin (1973, Ent. Rev. 52 (1): 118-125; Ent. Rev. 52 (2): 287-295) has treated the higher classification of the Encyrtidae (sensu stricto) and provided a radical reorganization at the tribal and subfamilial levels. His classification has been adopted in the present treatment of the Encyrtidae. In so doing, however, the placement of several genera remains undecided. These will be treated in a separate publication. ~In this section the term "cosmopolitan" means the species is found throughout North America. ~I thank D. Miller and M. Stoetzel (Systematic Entomology Laboratory, IIBIII, U. S. Dept. Agr., Beltsville, Maryland) for providing correct names for homopterous hosts. D. P. Annecke (Plant Protect. Res. Inst., Pretoria, South Africa) gave his advice on the placement of several species earlier referred to Aphycus. ~The hosts cited in this section are only those reported for North America.

Comprehensive Description

    Encyrtidae
    provided by wikipedia

    Encyrtidae is a large family of parasitic wasps, with some 3710 described species in about 455 genera. The larvae of the majority are primary parasitoids on Hemiptera, though other hosts are attacked, and details of the life history can be variable (e.g., some attack eggs, some attack larvae, others are hyperparasites, and some Encyrtidae develop as parasitoids of ticks). They are found throughout the world in virtually all habitats, and are extremely important as biological control agents. They may also present as an ecological threat to the population of some species. For example, the endangered Papilio homerus butterfly is parasitized at a rate of 77%.[1] Parasitic wasps are the main contributor to egg mortality in the butterfly species.

    Some species exhibit a remarkable developmental phenomenon called "polyembryony", in which a single egg multiplies clonally in the host and produces large numbers of identical adult wasps. Even more remarkably, some of the larvae are larger than the others and act in a similar way to the "soldiers" of eusocial insects, attacking any other wasp larvae already in the body of the host, and dying without reproducing ("altruism").

    Wasps in this family are relatively easy to separate from other Chalcidoidea by features of the wing venation, the migration of the cerci forwards on the metasoma (and accompanying distortion of the tergites), and a greatly enlarged mesopleuron with anteriorly positioned mesocoxae.

     src=
    Encyrtid thorax; "h" is the mesopleuron

    An extinct genus Archencyrtus has been described from the Middle Eocene age Sakhalin amber in Eastern Russia.[2]

    References

    1. ^ Garraway, Eric; Bailey, A. J. A.; Freeman, B. E.; Parnell, J. R.; Emmel, T. C. (2008). Insect Conservation and Islands. Springer, Dordrecht. pp. 189–203. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8782-0_16. ISBN 9781402087813..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ Simutnik, S.A. (2014). "The first record of Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) from the Sakhalin amber". Paleontological Journal. 48 (6): 621–623. doi:10.1134/s0031030114060124.

    Remarks
    provided by Deans Deitz Wharton et al
    See page on Tachinaephagus zealandicus.