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Ascogaster sp (Cheloninae).jpg
Imago of an unidentified Ascogaster species
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Superfamily: Ichneumonoidea
Family: Braconidae
Subfamily: Cheloninae

Several, see text

The Cheloninae are a subfamily of braconid parasitic wasps. They are solitary koinobionts which parasitize the caterpillars of certain Lepidoptera. Especially Pyraloidea and Tortricoidea, but also other taxa whose larvae bore in stems, buds or fruits, are used as hosts. The wasps oviposit into the lepidopteran eggs, but their larvae do not develop until the caterpillar has hatched.

Most Cheloninae are small and uniformly colored. Their metasomal carapace is characteristically formed from the first three tergites.

Genera placed in the Cheloninae include:

Previously belonging to the Adeliinae, but now confirmed to be nested within Cheloninae[1] are:


  1. ^ Kittel, R.N.; Austin, A.D.; Klopfstein, S. (2016). "Molecular and morphological phylogenetics of chelonine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with a critical assessment of divergence time estimations". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 101: 224–241. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.05.016. PMID 27179700.