The life stages of Macroglenes penetrans (Kirby), an egg–larval parasitoid of the wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin), are described. The mean length and width, respectively, of 25 parasitoid eggs deposited in host eggs were 0.105 ± 0.008 (SD) mm and 0.041 ± 0.006 mm. Mature oocytes were 0.131 ± 0.008 mm long by 0.038 ± 0.004 mm wide, slightly larger than laid eggs.
A frequency distribution of head width (HW) indicated two larval instars during the feeding period. During development, the HW of the first instar remains almost constant at about 0.03 mm whereas body length (BL) increases from about 0.15 to about 0.3 mm. Both HW and BL increase in the second instar from about 0.15 and 0.49 to 0.34 and 1.05 mm, respectively, for mature larvae. The third instar does not feed and is characterized by hook-like "pseudomandibles" and four incurving spines on the terminal segment. The pupa is adectious exarate. Adults are about 2 mm long, shiny bluish-black, and have translucent wings. Males have prominent rust-coloured eyes; eyes of females are less prominent and fuscous.