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Afrotropical Platygastroidea

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

Identification keys

Platygastridae
Scelionidae

Distribution

Worldwide.

Biology

Usually solitary endoparasitoids of insect or spider eggs.

Diversity

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

Comments

The classification presented here follows Masner (1993) with minor updates e.g. Taekal et al. (2014) transferred Psix and Paratelenomus from Telenominae to Scelioninae. A comprehensive phylogenetic assessment based on both morphological and molecular data to formulate a revised classification of Platygastroidea is still required. 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) have largely not been accepted (Talamas & Buffington, 2015; Popovici et al. 2017) and until robust phylogenetic data is published the classification of Masner (1993) is followed.

References

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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

Credits

Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).


Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

 

Citation: van Noort, S. 2021. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the Afrotropical region. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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