Cuckoo wasps (Chrysididae) are typically metallic green or blue-green, and 2 to 15 mm in length. Antennae have 13 antennomeres. The sexes are usually difficult or impossible to distinguish except by behavior or by dissection. Wings have reduced venation. Alone among the Arculeata, the "stinger" is used primarily to guide the eggs during oviposition, rather than for defense.
The 2500 described species of Chrysididae are found worldwide, though the Australian fauna is limited.
The life histories vary by subfamily. Wasps in Cleptinae are ectoparasitoids of immature sawflies (Symphata) while those in Amiseginae and Loboscelidiinae are endoparasitoids of the eggs of stick insects (Phasmatodea). Wasps in Chrysidinae are ectoparasitoids or kleptoparasitoids of various nest-constructing wasps.
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