Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Fairyflies (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae)

  • Elisabetta Chiappini
  • John Huber
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3745

The family Mymaridae is cosmopolitan, occurring in all terrestrial habitats and also in freshwater ponds and streams. The greatest generic diversity occurs in Australia, New Zealand and South America, but the greatest number of species is probably in tropical forests. The northern hemisphere, particularly Europe, is relatively depauperate, with about one quarter of the genera. Mymarids form an important component of any chalcid fauna, making up at least 5–10% of the individuals of Chalcidoidea collected by methods such as Malaise traps or pan traps.

This family is one of the few chalcids groups with a common name – fairyflies – derived from the fact that individuals of most of the species are such small insects that most people have never seen them. Indeed, the family includes the smallest recorded insect: the wingless, eyeless males of Dichopomorpha echmepterygisMockford, that live as parasites in barklouse (Psocoptera) eggs. Four males lined up end to end would extend the diameter...

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References

  1. Annecke DP, Doutt RL (1961) The genera of the Mymaridae. Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea. Entomology Memoirs. Department of Agricultural Technical Services, Republic of South Africa, vol 5, pp 1–71Google Scholar
  2. Huber JT (1986) Systematics, biology, and hosts of the Mymaridae and Mymarommatidae (Insecta: Hymeno-ptera): 1758–1984. Entomography: Ann Rev Biosyst 4:185–243Google Scholar
  3. Noyes JS, Valentine EW (1989) Mymaridae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) – introduction, and review of genera. Fauna of New Zealand, vol 17, 95 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Subba Rao BR, Hayat M (1983) Key to the genera of Oriental Mymaridae, with a preliminary catalog (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Contrib Am Entomol Inst 20:125–150Google Scholar
  5. Yoshimoto CM (1990) A review of the genera of New World Mymaridae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Flora & fauna handbook no. 7. Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, FA, 166 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabetta Chiappini
    • 1
  • John Huber
    • 2
  1. 1.Universita Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  2. 2.Canadian Forestry ServiceOttawaCanada