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World Platygastroidea

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

Identification keys

Sparasion_arnoldi_HT_habitus_lateral_330.jpg Sparasionidae




Usually solitary endoparasitoids of insect or spider eggs.


Globally there are about 4200 described species with an estimated 10 000 species in total (Masner, 1993).


The classification presented here follows Chen et al. 2021. Finally a comprehensive phylogenetic assessment based on both morphological and molecular data to formulate a revised classification of Platygastroidea has been completed. Murphy et al. (2007) conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the entire Platygastroidea in which the Platygastridae was supported as a monophyletic group nested within Scelionidae. As a result the Scelionidae were retrieved as polyphyletic, but the classification was not revised because of low support for many of the deeper nodes in the cladogram, and inadequate taxon sampling (less than a quarter of the valid genera in the superfamily were included in their analyses). Based on the results of Murphy et al. (2007), Sharkey (2007) formally synonymised Scelionidae with Platygastridae. Subsequently McKellar & Engel (2012) raised the tribes Sparasionini and Nixonini to family level and recognized four families: Nixoniidae, Sparasionidae, Scelionidae and Platygastridae, but in Ortega-Blanca et al. (2014) they treated placement of these two tribes within the Platygastroidea as incertae sedis recognizing only two families: Scelionidae and Platygastridae. These higher classification changes made by Sharkey (2007) and McKellar & Engel (2012) were largely not accepted (Talamas & Buffington, 2015; Popovici et al. 2017). With a revised classification having recently been published supported by robust phylogenetic data (Chen et al. 2021) this latest classification schema is now followed.


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Chen H-Y, Lahey Z, Talamas EJ, Valerio AA,  Popovici OA, Musetti L, Klompen H, Polaszek A, Masner L, Austin AD, Johnson NF. 2021. An integrated phylogenetic reassessment of the parasitoid superfamily Platygastroidea (Hymenoptera: Proctotrupomorpha) results in a revised familial classification. Systematic Entomology 46(4): 1088-1113.


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Talamas EJ, Johnson NF, Shih C, Ren D 2019. Proterosceliopsidae: A new family of Platygastroidea from Cretaceous amber. In: Talamas E (Ed) Advances in the Systematics of Platygastroidea II. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 73: 3-38. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.73.32256

Talamas EJ, Thompson J, Cutler A, Fitzsimmons Schoenberger S, Cuminale A, Jung T, Johnson NF, Valerio AA, Smith AB, Haltermann V, Alvarez E, Schwantes C, Blewer C, Bodenreider C, Salzberg A, Luo P, Meislin D, Buffington ML 2017. An online photographic catalog of primary types of Platygastroidea (Hymenoptera) in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. In: Talamas EJ, Buffington ML (Eds) Advances in the Systematics of Platygastroidea. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 56: 187–224. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.56.10774

van Noort S, Lahey Z, Talamas EJ, Austin AD, Masner L, Polaszek A, Johnson NF 2021. Review of Afrotropical sceliotracheline parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae). In: Lahey Z, Talamas E (Eds) Advances in the Systematics of Platygastroidea III. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 87: 115–222. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.87.73770


Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa), or © Elijah Talamas, or

© Alejandro Valerio, or © Norman Johnson (OSUC).

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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