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Megastigmus transvaalensis (Hussey)

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

Eumegastigmus transvaalensis Hussey, 1956. Holotype in the Natural History Museum, London (NHML). Type locality: Pretoria, South Africa.

Eumegastigmus rhusi Hussey, 1956. Holotype in the Natural History Museum, London (NHML). Type locality: Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Synonymy by Grissell & Prinsloo, 2001)




Photographs Alain Roques (INRA, France).


Afrotropical region: Kenya, Mauritius, Reunion, South Africa, Zimbabwe. Introduced to: Argentina, Brazil, Canary islands, California, Hawaii, Mauritius, Reunion. Introduced to California with its native host plant Searsia lancea and subsequently switched to introduced Schinus species.

Nearctic region: Mexico, USA (California, Florida, Hawaii); Neotropical region: Argentina, Brazil; and Palaearctic region: France, Israel, Morocco, Portugal, Spain (Canary Islands).


Gall-former in seed capsules of Searsia (=Rhus) species (Anacardiaceae), host shift to Schinus molle and Schinus terebinthifolia (Anacardiaceae). Reared from Searsia natalensis (depicted above) and S. vulgaris in Kenya. Photograph Robert Copeland (ICIPE, Kenya).


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.

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.

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

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: 51124. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.585.7503

Scheffer, S. & Grissell, E.E. 2003. Tracing the geographic origin of Megastigmus transvaalensis (Hymenoptera: Torymidae): an African wasp feeding on a South American plant in North America. Molecular Ecology 12: 415421.

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.


Photographs Alain Roques (INRA, France) or Robert Copeland (ICIPE, Kenya). Map illustration 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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