Biology page

Ichneumonoidea are parasitic wasps that develop from egg to adult in or on another insect, in the process killing the hosts. They are important links in the checks and balances of the eco-system. Thus, a large part of ichneumonoid references deals with ichneumonoids relationship with their hosts, for example host species, host location, host selection, and host suitability. References on basic biological studies, such as developmental rates, fecundity, longevity, modes of parasitism are well represented. To find information for the whole module, go to the Biology page of the Ichneumonoidea Information window and left click on any of the major topics or subtopics. A list of relevant references is provided.

The 10,924 host taxa parasitised by Ichneumonoids are predominantly from Lepidoptera, followed by Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera and 9 other groups. These in turn feed on 3,704 species of animals and plants. Therefore it is used as biological control agents against 244 species of major pests, introduced into 161 countries or regions (see geographical regions on p.10). Ichneumonoidea is itself parasitized by 576 species of insects from ten superfamilies of Hymenoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera. Associated with Ichneumonoidea are 195 species of animals and 624 species of plants and 128 species of insects and plants are known to be a source of food for Ichneumonoidea.