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

2001 - N.B. Stevens, M. Iqbal & A.D. Austin, Centre for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity (CEBB), The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia


Members of the family Scelionidae, with very few exceptions, can be identified by the presence of the postmarginal, marginal and stigmal veins in the forewing, the position of the antennal insertion close together and near to the mouth and, normally, a dorso-ventrally flattened metasoma (abdomen). Scelionids are often collected in large numbers close to the ground and in leaf-litter, and associated with this, reduced-wing or apterous forms are common. Many species have richly sculptured surfaces, while those found in the tropics often have yellow and black markings and/or patterned wings. Three subfamilies are recognised, Scelioninae, Teleasinae and Telenominae, although the Scelioninae, comprising about three-quarters of the valid genera, are undoubtedly not monophyletic. Similarly, the tribal classification is reasonably stable, but several tribes are not monophyletic, and their internal relationships are virtually unknown. One major clade comprising some 50 genera world-wide is defined by having a unique telescopic ovipositor system (see Austin & Field 1997). Scelionid tribes mostly have fixed host relationships, in that each is associated with parasitising the eggs of a particular host group. For example, the Baeini parasitise spider eggs, Gryonini attack heteropteran eggs, while other tribes parasitise the eggs of mantids, embiids, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Heteroptera.

The genera of the subfamily, Scelioninae, can be identified using the key in Galloway & Austin (1984), although numerous new taxa have since been discovered. Genera in the Teleasinae and Telenominae can be recognised using Masner (1980).


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)
07-Aug-2012 07-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)