Perilampidae

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Perilampidae
Britishentomologyvolume3Plate158.jpg
Perilampus ruficornis illustration from British Entomology
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Superfamily: Chalcidoidea
Family: Perilampidae
Latreille, 1809
Subfamilies

Chrysolampinae
Perilampinae
Philomidinae

Diversity
3 subfamilies
15 genera
c. 270 species

The Perilampidae are a small family within the Chalcidoidea, composed mostly of hyperparasitoids. The family is closely related to the Eucharitidae, and the eucharitids appear to have evolved from within the Perilampidae, thus rendering the family paraphyletic (if the two families are joined in the future, the name with precedence is Eucharitidae). As presently defined, there are 15 genera and >270 species worldwide. They are often brilliantly metallic (especially blue or green), with robust mesosomae and a small, triangular metasomae (swollen and bulbous in Philomidinae). They are generally very strongly sculptured. The prothorax is typically very broad and disc-like, and the labrum is multidigitate, a feature shared with the Eucharitidae.

Another feature shared by Eucharitidae and Perilampidae is the first-instar larvae are called "planidia" and are responsible for gaining access to the host, rather than the egg-laying females. Those species which are hyperparasitoids will burrow into a secondary host's body and seek out endoparasitoid larvae, such as tachinid flies or ichneumonoid wasps, and attack these.

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