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Megastigmidae Thomson

Megastigmid wasps of the Afrotropical region

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera; Superfamily: Chalcidoidea)

Megastigmidae Thomson, 1876    

Megastigmus Dalman, 1820


Biology Mostly phytophagous in seeds of Rosaceae, Pinaceae, Anacardiaceae and Cupressaceae, though some are gall formers, or are parasitoids of gall-forming or seed-feeding Hymenoptera and Diptera (Gibson, 1993; Gevers et al., 2020). Hosts: Cynipinae (cynipid galls), Eriococcidae, Eurytominae, bud galls, Diptera (dipterous galls), Diptera (flies), Lasiocampinae, Ormocerinae, Cecidomyiidae, Synerginae, Toryminae, Eulophidae.


Bouček, Z. 1978. A study of the non-podagrionine Torymidae with enlarged hind femora, with a key to the African genera (Hymenoptera). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 41: 91-134.

Dalman, J.W. 1820. Försök till Uppställning af Insect-familjen Pteromalini, i synnerhet med afseen de på de i Sverige funne Arter. Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar 41(1):178.

Doganlar, M. & Hassan E. 2010. Review of Australian species of Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) associated with Eucalyptus, with descriptions of new species. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 4(10): 5059-5120.

Doǧanlar M. 2015. Diagnosis of Megastigmus spp. (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) reared from galls of Leptocybe invasa Fisher & Lasalle, 2004, (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae), with description of a new species from South Africa. Entomofauna-Zeitschrift für Entomologie 36: 561–580.

Gevers, C.R., Dittrich-Schröder, G., Slippers, B. and Hurley, B.P. 2020. Interactions between hymenopteran species associated with gall-forming wasps: the Leptocybe invasa community as a case study. Agricultural and Forest Entomology https://doi.org/10.1111/afe.12413

Grissell, E.E. 1995. Toryminae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Torymidae). Associated Publishers, Gainesville, Florida, 470pp.

Grissell EE, 1999. An annotated catalog of world Megastigminae, (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Torymidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 31: 1-92.
Grissell, E.E. 2006. A new species of Megastigmus Dalman (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), galling seed capsules of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnhardt (Myrtaceae) in South Africa and Australia. African Entomology 14(1): 88-92.

Grissell, E.E. & K.R. Hobbs. 2000. Megastigmus transvaalensis (Hussey) (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) in California: Methods of introduction and evidence of host switching, pp.265-278. In The Hymenoptera: Evolution, biodiversity and biological control. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.

Grissell, E.E. & Prinsloo, G.L. 2001. Seed-feeding species of Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) associated with Anacardiaceae. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 10, 271-279.

Habeck, D.H., F.D. Bennett, & E.E. Grissell. 1989. First record of a phytophagous seed chalcid from Brazilian peppertree in Florida. Florida Entomologist 72: 378-379.

Heraty, J.M., Burks, R.A., Cruaud, A., Gibson, G.A.P., Liljeblad, J., Munro, J., Rasplus, J.-Y., Delvare, G., Janšta, P., Gumovsky, A., Huber, J., Woolley, J.B., Krogmann, L., Heydon, S., Polaszek, A., Schmidt, S., Darling, D.C., Gates, M.W., Mottern, J., Murray, E., Dal Molin, A., Triapitsyn, S., Baur, H., Pinto, J.D., van Noort, S., George, J. & Yoder, M. 2013. A phylogenetic analysis of the megadiverse Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera). Cladistics 29: 466–542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cla.12006

Hussey, N. W. 1956. A new genus of African Megastigminae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society London (B) 25: 157-162.

Jansta, P & Cruaud, A & Delvare, G & Genson, G & Heraty, J & Krizkova, B & Rasplus, J-Y. 2017. Torymidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) revised: Molecular phylogeny, circumscription and reclassification of the family with discussion of its biogeography and evolution of life-history traits. Cladistics. 10.1111/cla.12228.

Masi, L. 1934. Nota sur Calcididi dell’Isola di Rodi. Bollettino della Societa` Entomologica Italiana 66: 210.

Roques A, Skrzypczyńska M (2003) Seed-infesting chalcids of the genus Megastigmus Dalman (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) native and introduced to Europe: taxonomy, host specificity and distribution. Journal of Natural History 37: 127–238. doi: 10.1080/713834669

Roques A, Copeland RS, Soldati L, Denux O, Auger-Rozenberg M-A 2016. Megastigmus seed chalcids (Hymenoptera, Torymidae) radiated much more on Angiosperms than previously considered. I- Description of 8 new species from Kenya, with a key to the females of Eastern and Southern Africa. ZooKeys 585: 51–124. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.585.7503

Scheffer, S. & Grissell, E.E. 2003. Tracing the geographic origin of Megastigmus transvaalensis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae): anAfrican wasp feeding on a South American plant in North America. Molecular Ecology 12: 415–421.

Wheeler, G.S., L.M. Massey & M. Endries. 2001. The Brazilian peppertree drupe feeder Megastigmus transvaalensis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae): Florida distribution and impact. Biological Control 22: 139-148.

Walker, F. 1871. Notes on Chalcidiae. Part II—Eurytomidae and Torymidae (London: E. W. Newman), pp. 19–36.


Photographs © Vida van der Walt (header image) or © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2022. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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