Description & Statistics
This family contains ca. 70 described species in four genera that are found worldwide. Three fossil genera are known.
The adults resemble ants. They are yellow with red or brown markings but may be all brown in color. Winged species are usually nocturnal, while wingless or reduced-wing species are diurnal. They are solitary and the larvae are ectoparasitic on nymphs of Orthoptera. The tips of 2 or more antennal segments have spines. Hindwings, when present, have claval and jugal lobes. The metatibia has a curved spur.
Rhopalosoma is a New World genus (ca. 18 spp.) with most species from Central and South America. Olixon (ca. 25 spp.) ranges through Africa and Australia and the New World. Paniscomima (ca. 12 spp.) is known from India, Madagascar, Africa and Southeast Asia. Most Liosphex (ca. 15 spp.) occur in the southern USA to Central and South America with one species, L. trichopleurum, from the Philippines and Indonesia. Mesorhopalosoma cearae is a fossil known from Brazil.
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Goulet, H. & J. T. Huber, ed. 1993b. Hymenoptera of the world: an identification guide to families. Agriculture Canada. p. 205.
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Guidotti, A. E. 2007. "A revision of the wasp genus Paniscomima(Hymenoptera: Rhopalosomatidae)and a proposal of phylogenetic relationships among species". Invertebrate Systematics 21: 297–309.
Lohrmann, L. & M. Ohl. 2010. "World revision of the wasp genus Liosphex Townes, 1977 (Hymenoptera: Rhopalosomatidae)". Zootaxa (2384): 1–43.