Bradynobaenidae are possibly parasitoids of
Sun spiders (Solifugae). Mutillidae are ectoparasitoids of
larvae or pupa of other insects. Pompilidae are predators of spiders. Sapygidae
are cleptoparasites or ectoparasitoids of bee and wasp larva. Tiphiidae
are ectoparasitoids of subterranean or wood-boring beetle larvae (Scarabaeidae,
Cerambycidae, Cicindelidae, Tenebrionidae). The female stings each larva before
laying an egg on it. Rhopalosomatidae are ectoparasitoids of nymphal crickets (Gryllidae) forming
extruding sac-like structures similar to Dryinidae. Scoliidae are external parasitoids of beetle larvae (mostly Scarabaeidae)
that live in soil or decaying vegetable matter. Potter or Mason wasps (Eumeninae) nest in holes in
the ground, in hollow stems, or
construct nests from clay. Females lay an egg in each individual cell
and provision the cells with partially paralysed caterpillars. The cell
is then sealed. The masarine Pollen wasps provision their nests with pollen and nectar.
Paper wasps (Vespinae) are social, constructing communal paper nests. Larvae are fed
on chewed-up, soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars.
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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of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013).
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© Simon van Noort and Hamish Robertson (Iziko Museums); or ©
Victor Kolyada (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St.
Petersburg) or © Vida van der Walt (Pretoria).