The family Aphelinidae is a small group of Chalcidoidea that rarely exceed 1 mm in length. Their bodies are typically yellow, grayish, brown, black, or a combination of these colors. In spite of their small size, the taxonomic studies on this family began very early in the nineteenth century (Hayat, 1985). Aphelinidae containing 41 genera and more than thousands species and a major source of biocontrol agents of economically important pest species such as heterapteran groups of coccoids, aphids and aleyrodids.

Most aphelinids are primary parasites of the sternorrhynchous Hemiptera (Aphidoidea, Aleyrodoidea, and Coccoidea). A few are known to develop on other hosts (eggs of Orthoptera and Lepidoptera; puparia of Diptera). Some species exhibit hyper parasitism (Gennaro Viggiani, 1984). India has provided many parasitoids that were introduced into other countries, notably the United States (Woglum, 1913; Smith, 1950; Compere, 1961; Rosen and De Bach, 1979; Flanders, 1969) for biological control. Although no extensive work on the 'introduction' and release of foreign species in India was carried out, it is a well- known fact that success or failure in any bio-control programme primarily depends on the correct identification of the host and its parasitoids (Begum et al. 2011).

Aphelinus Dalman

Marietta Motschulsky

Promuscidea Girault

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