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Flower wasps of the Afrotropical region

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





Parasitoids of subterranean or wood-boring beetle larvae (Scarabaeidae, Cerambycidae, Cicindelidae, Tenebrionidae). The female stings each larva before laying an egg on it.


About 1000 described species in 53 genera  (Aguiar et al 2013; Branstetter et al 2018).


The re-classification of the Vespoidea into a number of superfamilies proposed by Pilgrim et al. (2008) and adopted by Peters et al. (2017) and Branstetter et al. (2018) has not been followed here yet, for reasons outlined in Brothers (2019). The exception is recognition of the family Thynnidae incorporating various taxa previously included in the Tiphiidae, a hypothesis that appears to have fairly robust support (albeit only based on molecular evidence), and recognition of which has been widely adopted across various platforms. We retain this newly proposed family together with the historically recognized families within the single superfamily Vespoidea, until such time that stronger phylogenetic evidence, based on both molecular as well as morphological appraisal, becomes available for supporting additional splitting at superfamily level within this group.


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Arnold, G. 1939. New African Tiphiidae, with redescriptions of some known species. Occasional Papers of the National Museum of Southern Rhodesia 1 (No 8): 12-48.

Branstetter MG, Childers AK, Cox-Foster D, Hopper KR, Kapheim KM, Toth AL, Worley KC. 2018. Genomes of the Hymenoptera. Current Opinion in Insect Science 25: 65-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2017.11.008

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 1997. Contribution to the knowledge of the Myzininae (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae).  Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria" 91: 615–639.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2004. Tribe-groups of the Myzininae with special regard to the palaearctic taxa of the tribe Meriini (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 36: 1205–1308.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2005. Anthoboscinae and Myzininae (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae) from Madagascar. Linzer Biologische Beiträge 37: 1077–1097.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2005. Third contribution to the knowledge of the Old World Myzininae (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria" [2004-2005] 96: 363-428.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2007. The Afrotropical genera of the subtribe Meriina (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae, Myzininae). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 39: 1257- 1305.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2009. Afrotropical species of the ancient genus Meria Illiger 1807 (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 41: 1817-1861.
Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2011.
Myzininae of the Old World. The subtribe Braunsomeriina (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 43: 363-380.

Boni Bartalucci, M.B. 2013. Afrotropical taxa of the genus Mesa Saussure 1892 (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae, Myzininae). Linzer Biologische Beiträge 45: 1657-1744.

Brothers, D.J. & Finnamore A.T. 1993. Superfamily Vespoidea (pp. 161-278). In GOULET, H. & HUBER, J. (eds). Hymenoptera of the World: an identification guide to families. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 668 pp.

Cameron, P. 1902. Descriptions of new genera and species of Hymenoptera collected by mayor C.S. Nurse at Deesa, Simla and Ferozepore. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 14: 267-275.

Cameron, P. 1906. Descriptions of new species of parasitic Hymenoptera, chiefly in the collection of the South African Museum, Cape Town. Annals of the South African Museum 5:

Cameron, P. 1910. On the aculeate hymenoptera collected by Mr. A.J.T. Janse, Normal College, Pretoria in the Transvaal. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 2 (3): 116-119.
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Gess, S.K. & Gess, F.W. 2014. Wasps and bees in southern Africa. SANBI Biodiversity Series 24. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 320 pp.

Gerstaecker C. 1857. Diagnosen der von peters in Mossambique gesammelten Käfer v. Hymenoptera. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin: 509-512.
Gorbatovsky V.V. 1979. Palaearctic species of diurnal myzinine wasps of the genus Dermasothes Menozzi. Ent. Obozr. 58: 609-621. (in Russian).

Gorbatovsky V.V. 1981. On the taxonomy of the Palaearctic Myzinine wasps. Ent. Obozr., Moscow 60 (2): 380-394 (in Russian).

Guérin de Méneville FE. 1837. Prodrome d’une monographie des Myzines. Dictionnaire pittoresque d’histoire naturelle 5: 575–585.

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Guiglia, D. 1959. Contributo alla conoscenza delle Myzininae del Nord Africa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa 70: 1–26.

Jacot-Guillarmod, C. 1953.  Preliminary notes on African Tiphiidae (Hymenoptera). Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London. Series B, Taxonomy, 22: 15–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.1953.tb00037.x

Jacot-Guillarmod, C. 1955. Contributions a l’étude de la faune entomologique du Ruanda-Urundi (Mission P. Basilewsky 1953) LXXV. Hymenoptera Tiphiidae. Ann. Mus. R. Congo Belge Tervuren (in 80, Sci. zool.) 40: 391–396.

Jacot-Guillarmod, C. 1959. Some hitherto unrecognised synonyms among the Tiphiidae (Hymenoptera). J. ent. Soc. sth. Afr. 22: 148–149.

Jacot-Guillarmod, C. 1961. The Hymenoptera types of Peter Cameron in the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa. Annals of the Cape Provincial Museums 1: 1-14.

Illiger, JCW. 1807 Magazin für Insectenkunde. Braunschweig VI, 370 pp.

Kimsey, L.S. 1991. Relationships among the tiphiid wasp subfamilies (Hymenoptera). Systematic Entomology 16: 427-438.

Kimsey, L.S. 2009. Review of the Malagasy Anthobosca, the bizarre and the sublime (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae: Anthoboscinae). Zootaxa 2175: 1–18.

Kimsey, LS. 2011. Tiphiidae wasps of Madagascar (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 22: 45–68. doi: 10.3897/JHR.22.1142

Krombein, K.V. 1937. Studies in the Tiphiidae, I: a review of the genera of Myzininae. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 30: 27–30.

Krombein K.V. 1938. Studies in the Tiphiidae II. A revision of the Nearctic Myzininae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 64: 227-292.

Krombein, K.V. 1949. Studies in the Tiphiidae. VII. The Madagascan species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 51: 45–73.

Krombein K.V. 1968. Studies in the Tiphiidae. X. Hylomesa, a new genus of Myzininae wasp parasitic on larvae of longicorn beetles (Hymenoptera). Proceedings of the United States National Museum 124: 1-22.

Latreille P.A. 1803. Nouveau Dictionnaire d’Histoire naturelle. Paris, XV: 326 pp.
Magretti, P. 1884. Risultati di raccolte imenotterologische nell’Africa Orientale. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturelle di Genova (2ª) 1: 523–567.

Pantaleoni, R.A & Boni Bartalucci, M. 2011. New record of Tentyria Latreille, 1802 (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) as host of Poecilotiphia rousselii (Guérin, 1838) (Hymenoptera, Tiphiidae). Biodiversity Journal 2(4): 207-208.

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Rossi, P. 1790. Fauna Etrusca, sistens insecta quae in Provinciis Florentina et Pisana Praesertim collecit, 2, Liburni, 348 pp.

Saunders S.S. 1850. Descriptions of some new aculeata Hymenoptera from Epirus. Trans. ent. Soc. London 1: 69-71.
Saussure, H. de 1890. Histoire naturelle des hyménoptères. In: Grandidier (ed.), Histoire physique, naturelle et politique de Madagascar, vol. 20. L’Imprimerie Nationale, Paris.

Saussure, H.L.F. 1891. Hyménoptères nouveaux de Madagascar. Mittheilungen der Schweizer Entomologischen Gesellschaft 8(7): 253–269.

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Smith, F. 1879. Descriptions of New Species of Hymenoptera in the British Museum, London. 240 pp.

Turner, R.E. 1908. Additions to the hymenopterous genera Myzine and Plesia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (8)1: 497–514.

Turner, R.E. 1910. Notes on the Scoliidae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London (4): 391–406.

Turner R.E. 1912. Studies in the Fossorial Wasps of the family Scoliidae, Subfamilies Elidinae and Anthoboscinae. Proccedings of the Zoological Society of London 46: 696-754.
Turner R.E. 1913. On new species of fossorial Hymenoptera from Africa, mostly Elidinae. Trans. ent. Soc. London 720-754.
Turner R.E. 1916. On some of the Scoliidae, mostly Elidinae (Hymenoptera), in the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 15: 455-463.
Turner R.E. 1917. Notes on Fossorial Hymenoptera. XXX. On new Ethiopian Scoliidae. 20: 351-356.
Turner. R.E. 1920. On some new species and others of Fossorial Hymenoptera in the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 17: 489-497.

Turner R.E. 1926. Notes on Fossorial Hymenoptera. XLI. Scoliidae. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9) 17: 104-110.

Turner R.E. 1927. Notes on Fossorial Hymenoptera. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, London 9: 545-552.
Westwood J.O. 1835. New Hymenopterous insects. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 53-54.


Photographs © Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths (University of Cape Town) (published in Struik's Field Guide to Insects of South Africa). Photographs of pinned specimens © Lynn Kimsey (Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis).

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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