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the family of parasitic Hymenoptera insects, resembling the ichneumon fly. Wingless forms are encountered (most often females). The family includes about 400 genera, uniting about 5,000 species; they are distributed throughout the world. All Braconidae in the larval stage are endoparasites of other insects, largely of the larvae of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. Some Braconidae are used in biological combat against harmful insects. Most significant in the USSR are Apanteles glomeratus, the main predator of white butterflies (cabbage butterflies), and Habrobracon juglandis and Meteorus versicolor, parasites of willow tussock moths.