Cretaceous fairyflies are much rarer. In 1975, described four genera of fairyflies from the Cretaceous of Canada. In 2011, John T. Huber and described the genus from amber. Dating back to the Upper age (about 100 mya) of the , it is the oldest known fairyfly (and chalcid wasp). They are surprisingly very similar to modern genera, though with a greater number of flagellar segments and longer forewing veins. The characteristics of the fossil (taking into account Yoshimoto's earlier discoveries) led them to conclude fairfylies either may have existed much earlier than , or they may have diversified rapidly during that time period.
and fossils of fairyflies were first described in 1901 by . He described fossil fairyflies from , most of them from the (55 to 37 ). In 1973, described several species from the (20 to 15 mya) amber of . In 1983, described another species from Baltic amber, this time dating to the (33 to 23 mya). And in 2011, and described fairyfly fossils from the of the ( age) of . These comprised two new genera and six species.
Most fairyflies require a sufficient amount of development in inside the eggs before they attack them, as their offspring cannot mature if the eggs are too new or if the embryos inside are too advanced. Older host embryos are apparently harder for the fairyfly larvae to digest, but there are exceptions. Some species of can attack embryos at various stages of development. They have been recorded to produce three successive generations in a single brood of the .
Some fairyflies possess slightly reduced (brachypterous) to greatly reduced (micropterous) wings, while others may even be completely wingless (apterous). Wing reduction or absence are usually exhibited by at least one sex (usually the females) of species which search for host eggs in confined areas (like leaf litter, soil, or the tubules of ). They are also exhibited by species which inhabit windy habitats like oceanic islands or in high elevations, particularly endemic species which are found in isolated habitats or are located far from the nearest mainland. In these habitats, wings would only be a hindrance to the fairyflies, so are strongly in . For example, the three known species of fairyflies found in the far southern islands of and of the southwestern and of the southern , as well as 20% of the fairyfly fauna in the , , and , are all wingless or short-winged. While wingless and short-winged species may also be found in islands near continents and in continental habitats, they usually constitute only a small percentage of the overall number of species.
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