The parasitic Hymenoptera (also referred to as the Parasitica) comprise several families of insects which are (mainly) parasitoids of other insects and spiders. Parasitoids, unlike parasites, normally kill their hosts once their own development is complete. There are exceptions and the best known are the gall wasps of the Cynipinae, which have become herbivorous although the rest of the Cynipoidea are parasitic.
The main groups of the Parasitica are:
1. The Ichneumonoidea consists of the Trigonalidae, Ichneumonidae and Braconidae. They include the largest species of Parasitica but there are many small ones also. There are reasonably modern keys (many in French, German or Russian, as these counties are where much of the taxonomic revisions are taking place) to some groups but not to others, so the modern coverage in Yorkshire is rather patchy, though improving. English translations of many of these works now exist (on-line translators are wonderful!).
2. The Evanoidea includes the Evaniidae, Aulacidae and Gasteruptionidae but only the latter has been reported in Yorkshire. There is an identification key which is 50 years old but still valid.
3. The Cynipoidea includes the Cynipidae, Charipidae, Eucoilidae, Ibaliidae and Figitidae. There are good modern keys to all these families, though many additional species have turned up in the UK recently.
4. The Chalcidoidea consists of the Chalcididae, Eurytomidae, Torymidae, Ormyridae, Eucharitidae, Perilampidae, Pteromalidae, Eupelmidae, Encyrtidae, Signiphoridae, Aphelinidae, Elasmidae, Tetracampidae, Eulophidae, Trichogrammatidae and Mymaridae. There are modern keys to some of these groups but others are less easily dealt with.
5. The Proctotrupoidea are the Heloridae, Proctotrupidae, Diapriidae, Scelionidae, Platygastridae, Ceraphronidae and Megaspilidae. There are keys to the first three but literature on the others is scattered.
There are two ways in which the study of Yorkshire's Parasitica is advanced - by collecting adult specimens and by rearing them from their hosts. Most records are the result of the former but biological information depends more on the latter.
Here are Bill Ely's latest annual reports:
Here are the Ichneumon lists for Yorkshire, updated in January 2016