Geographical distribution: Cosmopolitan, wherever its aphid hosts occur
Morphology: The female is mostly brown-black, about 1.3-1.8 mm in length, with yellow and black leg segments.
Life history: Species of Aphidius are endoparasitoids of aphids. The females lay 100 hundred or more eggs singly into the bodies of aphids of all sizes. The emerging larvae develop therein, and after a few daysthe host becomes mummified. The endoparasitoid completes its development within the mummy, emerging through an exit hole that it had cut in the mummy. An entire life cycle may require 2-3 weeks.
Economic importance: Species of Aphidius are important natural enemies of pest aphids, and several species are mass-reared and sold in commerce. Besides killing aphids, the searching activities within the pest colonies disturbs the aphids and causes many to fall off the plants and die.
Important species of Aphidius in the Middle East
Aphidius colemani Viereck. An enemy of several aphids, especially in greenhouses. It has a high reproductive potential, develops rapidly and attacks several pest species, such as Hyalopterus pruni, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Myzus persicae and others.
Aphidius ervi Halliday also parasitizes many aphid species that infest various crops. In the Middle East is has been recovered, among other hosts, from Acyrthosiphon pisum.
Aphidius matricariae Halliday is an important enemy of (among other hosts) Myzus persicae and of cereal aphids in Egypt.
Chyzik, R., Dobrinin, S. and Antignus, Y. 2003. Effect of a UV-deficient environment on the biology and flight activity of Myzus persicae and its hymenopterous parasite Aphidius matricariae. Phytoparasitica 31: 467–477.
El-Heneidy, A.H., Agamy, E.A., El-Hussieni, M.M. and Adly, D. 2003. Seasonal occurrence of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius matricariae Hal. (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in Egyptian wheat fields. Agricultural Research Journal Suez Canal University 2: 103-108.
Ibrahim, A.M. and Afifi, A.I. 1994. Aphidius colemani Viereck and Aphidius picipes (Nees) as parasitoids of the mealy plum aphid Hyalopterous pruni (Geoffroy) on peach in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 4: 1
Mescheloff, E. and Rosen, D. 1990. Biosystematic studies on the Aphidiidae of Israel (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea). 4. The genera Pauesia, Diaeretus, Aphidius and Diaeretiella Israel Journal of Entomology 24: 51-91.