A very large group of minute or small, black and slender-bodied parasitoids, with a much reduced wing venation; a pterostigma sometimes present; apterous forms common; antennae without annuli (cf. superfamily Chalcidoidea), usually 10- to 12-segmented, the apical four or five segments often forming a slight club; pronotum reaching back to the tegulae (cf. superfamily Chalcidoidea) and the ovipositor arising from the extreme tip of the gaster, features shared by certain members of the Aculeata (e.g. superfamily Vespoidea); front tibiae each with one spur (cf. superfamily Ceraphronoidea).
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