Series: Records of the Zoological Survey of India Occasional Papers Volume: 373
71 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; tables
Parasitic Hymenoptera play a vital role in terrestrial ecosystems in the control of insect pests attacking crops. The family Pteromalidae is one of the largest and taxonomically difficult families of the super family Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera Parasitica), members of which are mainly primary or secondary parasitoids attacking a wide range of insect orders in their various stages of development, and also attacking some Arachnida. Hence, they are of economic importance in the biological control of noxious insect pests. Many species of Pteromalidae have been employed successfully in biological control programmes all over the world. The family contains over 3506 described species under 588 genera worldwide. When compared to the other parts of the world, the knowledge on the Pteromalid fauna of India is in its infancy and the available information is scattered in the scientific literature. Despite their economic importance, Pteromalidae are poorly studied taxonomically and biologically from India where a rich fauna awaits discovery. Currently 226 species of Pteromalidae under 101 genera belonging to 17 subfamilies are reported from India, out of which 110 species under 53 genera of 13 subfamilies are known from Kerala. This publication descibes the genera and species known from the South Western Ghats.
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