Main diagnostic characters

1. Forewings with speculum absent (100%)
2. Tarsi 5-segmented (80%) (4-segmented in males of Tetracampinae and Baeomorphinae)
3. Body shining greenish (95%)
4. Scutellum with four long bristles (100%?)
5. Propodeum unusual in that there are often several setae medially or submedially (50%)
6. Spur of fore tibia weak and very nearly straight (100%)
7. Gaster with a short petiole; hind edge of basal tergite strongly invaginate giving the appearance of a deep groove between it and second tergite (80%?)

Included taxa

The family currently includes 15 genera and 50 species placed in 6 subfamilies as follows: Baeomorphinae (1/4, fossil), Bouceklytinae (1/1, fossil), Distylopinae (1/1, fossil), Mongolocampinae (4/10), Platynocheilinae (1/4), Tetracampinae (7/30).

Platynocheilus cuprifrons - Female Platynocheilus cuprifrons  - Male
Female Male
(Platynocheilus cuprifrons)
Epiclerus temenus
(Epiclerus temenus)


The biologies of most species of Tetracampidae are unknown. The majority of those whose hosts are known are associated with insects that mine in plants (Boucek & Askew, 1968). European species of one genus, Dipriocampe, are endoparasitoids of the eggs of diprionid sawflies (Niklas, 1956), and the British species of Foersterella are endoparasitoids of the eggs of Cassida spp. (Coleoptera, Cassididae) (Boucek & Askew, 1968).

One species, Dipriocampe diprioni was introduced into Canada from Europe in an attempt to control various diprionid pests. It did not become established.

Foersterella erdoesi - Female Foersterella erdoesi - Male
Female Male
(Foersterella erdoesi)


Peck, Boucek & Hoffer, 1964 (Central European genera); Sugonjaev, 1971 (subfamilies).


Boucek, Z. & Askew, R.R. 1968. World Tetracampidae. Index of Entomophagous Insects 4:19pp. (Ed.: Delucchi, V.; Remaudière, G.) Le François, Paris.

Niklas, O.F. 1957. Tetracampe diprioni Ferrière as an egg-parasite of Neodiprion sertifer. Beitr. Ent. 6(3/4):320-332.

Peck, O., Boucek, Z. & Hoffer, A. 1964. Keys to the Chalcidoidea of Czechoslovakia (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada No 34:170pp, 289 figs.

Sugonjaev, E.S. 1971. Novoe podsemeystvo khal'tsid Mongolocampinae Sugonjaev, subfam.n. (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Tetracampidae) iz Mongol i Kazakhstan. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 50(3):664-675. (In Russian; English translation: Entomological Review, Washington 50(3):377-383).

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Last updated 05-Sep-2003 Dr B R Pitkin