Parasitoids

Parasitoids are organisms (usually insects) which spend part of their life attached to a host insect, and eventually kill that host.  Unlike parasites, which live off a host, but coexist with it, parasitoids consume their host, usually before it can reproduce.  Most parasitoids are insects, and most of their host species are insects.

(More information can be found here:   Cornell UniversityWikipedia)

Parasitoids haven't caught the attention of many amateur insect enthusiasts - they're generally small, not brilliantly colored, and they often prey on brightly colored 'prettier' insects like butterflies.   But they're a very important part of all ecosystems - they play a major role in reducing the numbers of herbivorous insects.  Without them, plants would have much more insect damage.  Parasitoids are also used in agriculture, as biological controls for crop pests.

(More information about parsitoids in bio control:  Cornell UniversityParisitoids used in bio control)

Everyone who raises insects has had the disappointing experience of a wasp or a fly hatching from a butterfly or moth pupa.  But this is also an opportunity - to observe how these creatures live.  Little is known about the lives of many parasitoids, so any observations, documentation of their life cycles, or records of host species adds to our knowledge of them.

This page has links to parasitoids that our contributors have found.    (If the link is a life cycle, it will also be found on the appropriate life cycle page.)   I hope that by having information about these creatures here, in one list, I can encourage people to record more of their life cycles.

If you're interested in sharing your knowledge about any of these parasitoids, please let me know.  We've done our best at getting them identified.  I've listed the unidentified ones at the beginning of the list.  It would be especially helpful to get those identified.  But any information, ID advice, or observations of other parasitoids would be welcome.

Unidentified

parasitic Apocrita from Goldenrod gall

parasitoid on Euclea delphinii

COLEOPTERA - Beetles

Family Mordellidae - Tumbling Flower Beetles

Mordellistena sp.

HYMENOPTERA - Ants, Bees & Wasps

Chalcidoidea - Chalcid Wasp   another pupa

Family Braconidae - Braconid Wasps

Aleiodes sp. - Mummy-wasp

Braconidae

Braconidae

Chorebus - Winterberry leafminer parsitoid

Colastes - Braconid Wasp parasitoid

Cotesia - Braconid Wasp

Cotesia congregata

Dinocampus coccinellae - Braconid Wasp

Heterospilus eurostae

Macrocentrus sp. - Braconid Wasp

Microgastrinae - Wasps

Urosigalphus sp. - Braconid Wasp

Family Chalcididae - Chalcid Wasps

Chalcididae

Chalcididae - yellow chalcid wasp

Conura amoena - Chalcid wasp

Conura - Chalcid Wasp

Family Encyrtidae - Encyrtids

Copidosoma sp.

Copidosoma sp. more info

Copidosoma sp.

Family Eulophidae

Eulophidae (female)

Eulophidae (male)

Eulophidae (male)

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophidae

Eulophus sp. 

Euplectrus sp.

Euplectrus sp.

Euplectrus - Chalcid Wasp

Euplectrus - Chalcid Wasp

Galeopsomyia sp.

Family Eurytomidae

Eurytoma gigantea

Family Ichneumonidae - Ichneumon Wasps

Ctenopelmatinae - Ichneumon Wasp

Exenterus - Ichneumon Wasp

Gambrus nuncius - Ichneumon Wasp

Gelis sp.

Hercus fontinalis - Parasitic Wasp

Hyposoter - Ichneumon Wasp

Iseropus coelebs

Phyotdietus sp. - Parasitic Wasp

Phytodietus sp. - Parasitic Wasp

Sinarachna pallipes strigis

Family Megaspilidae

Dendrocerus sp.

Family Mymaridae

Mymaridae

Family Ormyridae

Ormyrus sp.

Family Platygastridae

Platygastridae

Telenomus sp.

Telenomus - Parasitic Apocrita

Family Pteromalidae - Pteromalids

Pteromalidae

Pteromalidae

Pteromalidae - Chalcid Wasp

Family Torymidae

Torymidae (female)

Torymidae (female)

Torymidae (male)

Torymidae

Torymidae

Family Trichogrammatidae

Trichogrammatidae

LEPIDOPTERA - Butterflies & Moths

Family Epipyropidae - Planthopper Parasites

Fulgoraecia exigua - Planthopper Parasite Moth

DIPTERA - Flies

Diptera

Family Anthomylidae - Root-Maggot Flies

Chirosia sp. - Root-maggot Fly parasitoid

Family Tachinidae

Blondeliini

Compsilura concinnata

Exoristinae

Exoristinae

Tachinidae

Tachinidae

Tachinidae

Trichopoda pennipes - Tachinid Fly

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