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Tiphiid wasps of the Afrotropical region

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


Tiphia Fabricius, 1775




Ectoparasitoids of Scarabaeidae larva.


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.


Aguiar AP, Deans AR, Engel MS, Forshage M, Huber JT, Jennings JT, Johnson NF, Lelej AS, Longino JT, Lohrmann V, Miko I. 2013. Order Hymenoptera. In: Zhang, Z.-Q.(Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013). Zootaxa 3703: 51-62. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3703.1.12

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

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.

Jacot-Guillarmod, C. 1955. Contributions ŕ l'étude de la faune entomologique du Ruanda-Urundi (Mission P. Basilewsy, 1953). Hymenoptera Tiphiidae. Ann. Mus. R. Congo belge 40: 391-96.

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

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


Photographs by Nadene Smith © (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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