All species develop as parasites on various other insects. They are predominantly solitary (few species gregarious in nature), primary endoparasitoids of Lepidoptera and Diptera, though a few species attack Hymenoptera, Coleoptera (mainly Chrysomelidae), and Neuroptera. Some tropical species are ectoparasitoids. One extralimital Hockeria was reared from a free-living Strepsiptera. Certain species (including some tropical species of Conura) may be hyperparasitic, some others only occasionally so (facultative hyperparasites). Hyperparasitic species mainly fall under genera - Antrocephalus, Proconura, Notaspidiella, and Brachymeria.

Some species specific groups also prevail, for instance species of Uga parasitize epilachnine beetle (Coccinelllidae), Lasiochalcidia - antlion larvae, Dirhinus - brachycerous Diptera, Chalcis - Stratiomyiidae (Diptera), Smicromorpha - Oecophylla ants etc. (Bouček, 1988).


Worldwide, with few species in the cold regions. The family currently includes 87 genera and 1464 species placed in 5 subfamilies as follows: Chalcidinae (25/767), Dirhininae (3/65), Epitraninae (1/64), Haltichellinae (55/560), Smicromorphinae (1/6), unplaced (2/2).

The Indian fauna consists of 220 species under 30 genera (Noyes, 2016 Universal Chalcidoidea Database ).


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