Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

July 2012 - Danielle N. Stringer, Sarah Mantel, John T. Jennings & Andrew D. Austin, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, and the School of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


The Perilampidae are a small family, not commonly collected. Thirty-three described species are known from Australia. They are characterised by the prepectus lying in the same plane with, and usually fused to, the lateral face of the pronotum; the first two metasomal segments generally accounting for most of the exposed metasoma; and the thorax often with coarse punctures. In addition, most species are robust, of moderately small size (1.5–6 mm) and strongly sculptured.

Many perilampids are hyperparasitoids of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), developing through Hymenoptera (Ichneumonidae, Braconidae) or Diptera (tachinid flies). Other species are primary parasitoids of Hymenoptera, Coleoptera (beetles) or Neuroptera (lacewings). The biology of perilampids is often quite complex. In species that are primary parasitoids, the active first instar larvae, or planidia, are external and attack the host at the time of pupation. With hyperparasitic species, the planidia seek out and enter hosts that would serve as potential primary hosts for other parasitoids. If the primary parasitoid is present, the planidium then enters the primary parasitoid's body, waits without further development for the primary to finish its development and pupate, at which point the planidium exits the primary host to feed externally.

Boucek (1988) recognised two subfamilies, Perilampinae and Chrysolampinae; however, other authors postulate that the Chrysolampinae more correctly belongs in the Pteromalidae. Keys to Australasian genera are included in Boucek (1988).

Jennings & Austin (2015) list 2 unidentified species from Lord Howe Island in the Australian Museum.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
23-Mar-2015 CHALCIDOIDEA 18-Mar-2015 MODIFIED
07-Aug-2012 07-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
06-Feb-2012 MODIFIED