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Megalyra fasciipennis Westwood

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera;  Superfamily: Megalyroidea; Family: Megalyridae; Tribe: Megalyrini; Genus: Megalyra)

Megalyra fasciipennis Westwood 1832.

Identification keys

Megalyra_fasciipennis_SAM-HYM-P020304_female_habitus_lateral Megalyra_fasciipennis_SAM-HYM-P020304_female_habitus_in_situ










This Australian species was deliberately introduced to South Africa (Cape Town) in 1910. Although rearing of wasps for release failed, the species presumably established itself as it was recovered in 1962 from infested logs. Appears not to have spread beyond Western Cape, but has been introduced into the Tzaneen area.


Pupal parasitoid of beetle larvae in the genus Phoracantha (Cerambycidae) (Froggatt 1906; Gess 1964; Austin et al. 1994), which are wood borers of Eucalyptus species. The female wasp inserts her long ovipositor (2-4X her body length) through the plug blocking the tunnel that the beetle larva has bored while feeding, laying an egg on the host beetle pupa. Controls introduced invasive pest beetle species and hence is a beneficial introduction into South Africa.



Austin, A.D., Quicke, D.L.J. & Marsh, P.M. 1994. The hymenopterous parasitoids of eucalypt longicorn beetles, Phoracantha spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Australia. Bulletin of Entomological Research 84: 145-174.

Froggatt W.W. 1906. Notes on the hymenopterous genus Megalyra Westwood, with descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales 31: 399-407.

Gess F.W. 1964. The discovery of a parasite of the Phoracantha beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the Western Cape. Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 27: 152.

Neuenschwander, P. Borgemeister, C. & J. Langewald (Eds). 2003. Biological Control in IPM Systems in Africa, pp. 448. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford.

Shaw S.R. 1990. A taxonomic revision of the long-tailed wasps of the genus Megalyra Westwood (Hymenoptera: Megalyridae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 3: 1005-1052.

van Noort, S. & Picker, M. 2011. Wasps, Bees, Ants. Class Insecta, Order Hymenoptera. Pp 140-146. In:  Picker, M. & Griffiths, C. (eds.) Alien & Invasive Animals. A South African perspective. Struik Nature.

Westwood J.O. 1832. In: Griffith E. Supplement on the Hymenoptera, pp 389-576. In: Cuvier G. Animal Kingdom, Class Insecta. Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London, 796 pp.


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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