An account of the taxonomic position of the genus Bracon Fabricius, 1804 is presented. In his monograph Wesmael (1838: 7-58) made a survey of 48 nominal species of Bracon occurring in Belgium. Out of the 48 species thirty-seven were described by Wesmael himself as new species, eleven more species had previously been described by Fabricius (three species), Nees (seven species) and Spinola (one species). The Bracon material studied by Wesmael is deposited in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels. Type (holo-, lecto-, paralectotype) designations are made for Wesmael’s species and neotype designations for Nees sensu Wesmael’s species. Redescriptions, comments on distributions and their taxonomic positions are presented. Palpibracon subgen. nov. is established (type species Bracon delibator Haliday, 1833) for fi ve Bracon species with long maxillary palpi in the Holarctic (four species) and Ethiopian Region (one species). The following fifteen Bracon species names proved to be junior synonyms (valid names in italics): B. dichromus Wesmael, 1838 = B. carpaticus Niezabitowski, 1910 syn. nov.; B. erraticus Wesmael, 1838 = B. bellicosus Papp, 1971 syn. nov., = B. exarator Marshall, 1885 syn. nov., = B. praetermissus Marshall, 1885 syn. nov., B. vectensis Marshall, 1885 syn. nov.; B. fuscicornis Wesmael, 1838 = B. levicarinatus Niezabitowski, 1910 syn. nov.; B. immutator Nees, 1834 = B. breviusculus Wesmael, 1838 syn. nov.; B. intercessor Nees, 1834 = B. laetus Wesmael, 1838 syn. nov.; B. larvicida Wesmael, 1838 = B. crassiusculus Szépligeti, 1901 syn. nov.; B. longicollis Wesmael, 1838 = B. subcylindricus Wesmael, 1838 syn. nov.; B. megapterus Wesmael, 1838 = B. biimpressus Telenga, 1936 syn. nov.; B. nigratus Wesmael, 1838 = B. orbicularis Niezabitowski, 1910 syn. nov.; B. osculator Nees, 1811 = B. coniferarum Fahringer, 1927 (Schmiedeknecht in litt.) syn. nov.; B. picticornis Wesmael, 1838 = B. vitripennis Ratzeburg, 1852 syn. nov.; B. titubatus Wesmael, 1838 = B. fuscipennis Wesmael, 1838 syn. nov. The species Bracon (Lucobracon) turolus Papp, 1984 is revalidated (suppressed under the name B. (Glabrobracon) nigriventris Wesmael, 1838 by Tobias & Belokobylskij 2000: 162). A historic discussion of the subgeneric division of the Bracon species is given.