Description & Statistics
Stephanidae. -- Stephanids are a small of rare hymenopterans that are parasitoids of the larvae of wood-boring beetles. The adults vary in length from 4-20 mm. They are slim and resemble ichneumonids with their long ovipositor. The head is quite spherical, and protrudes on a neck. It also has a crown of about four or five teeth around the median ocellus. The hind coxae are long, and the hind femora are swollen and also have teeth. Most American species occur in the western Nearctic.
Stephanids are rare insects, represented by only a few genera and species. Clausen (1940/1962) regarded them as parasitic on the larvae of wood-boring insects.
The single family, Stephanidae has 9 genera and about 305 species. They are primarily tropical and subtropical in distribution. They all have a slender and elongated body, highly modified hind legs, and an almost spherical head on a long "neck", bearing a set of about five "teeth" on the face surrounding the ocelli. They resemble Gasteruptiidae, but they are glossy and often sculptured, and the swollen hind femora are unlike any gasteruptiid leg.
Some species are parasitoids of xylophagous beetle larvae, while one species, Schlettererius cinctipes, is a parasitoid of horntail wasps.