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Spathioplites phreneticus Fischer

(Life: Kingdom: Metazoa (animals); Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Hexapoda; Order: Hymenoptera;  Superfamily: Ichneumonoidea; Family: Braconidae; Subfamily: Doryctinae; Genus: Spathioplites)

Spathioplites phreneticus Fischer, 1962. Holotype in Paris (MNHN). Type locality: Ennedi, Ouedi, Harisohi, Chad.

ClassificationDoryctinae keys

Non-type (SAMC). Photographs © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Holotype (MNHN). Photographs © Touret-Alby Agničle (MNHN).


Paratype (MNHN). Photographs © Touret-Alby Agničle (MNHN).


Chad, Senegal, South Africa.


According to the original label present on the holotype specimen the host of this species could either be wood-boring Lyctus hipposideros Lesne, 1908, or Enneadesmus forficula (Fairmaire, 1883) (Coleoptera, Bostrichidae). A label on the paratype reads “ex A. raddiana” = Acacia raddiana Savi, which is currently considered to be a subspecies of the Umbrella thorn acacia: Vachellia tortilis subsp. raddiana (Savi) Kyal. & Boatwr. The northern African specimens were collected in mid to late northern hemisphere summer (May and August), and the two South African specimens were collected in the latter half of the southern hemisphere summer (between 10 February and 9 May). Seasonal variation in arid habitats can be pronounced as shown in the photos below depicting the sampling locality in Tswalu Game Reserve (South Africa). Dead wood was gathered from the surrounding vicinity and stacked under the Malaise trap to increase return on parasitoids of wood-boring hosts, and it is likely that the S. phreneticus specimens emanated from this source that probably contained wood-boring host beetle larvae (van Noort et al. 2021).


Spathioplites phreneticus South African sampling site locality TSW15-DED3 in Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve showing seasonal changes in habitat: A, habitat May 2016, after poor summer rains; B, habitat May 2016, after poor summer rains; C, habitat Nov 2016 at end of dry winter season showing dead wood stacked under Malaise trap to increase return on parasitoids of wood-boring hosts (Malaise trap damaged by game animals prior to fixing); D, habitat overview November 2016 (locality arrowed) at end of dry winter season; E, habitat May 2017, after good summer rains; F, habitat May 2017, after good summer rains.


Belokobylskij, S.A. 1992. [On the classification and phylogeny of the braconid wasps subfamilies Doryctinae and Exothecinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) Part 1.] Entomologicheskoye Obozreniye. 71(4):900-927. [Entomological Review. 72(6):109-137.]
Fischer, M. 1962. Neue Braconiden-Parasiten von schädlichen Insekten (Hymenoptera). Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie. 49:297-312.
Shenefelt, R.D. & P.M. Marsh 1976. Braconidae 9. Doryctinae. Hymenopterorum Catalogus, Pars 13:1263-1424.

van Achterberg, C. 1993. Illustrated key to the subfamilies of the Braconidae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea). Zoologische Verhandelingen 283: 1-189.

van Noort S, Belokobylskij SA, Touret-Alby A. 2021. Rediscovery of the endemic Afrotropical genus Spathioplites (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Doryctinae) with major range extension records for Spathioplites phreneticus. African Invertebrates 62(2): 497–520. https://doi.org/10.3897/AfrInvertebr.62.74103


Photographs of non-type and map illustration © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Photographs of holotype and paratype © Touret-Alby Agničle (MNHN). http://coldb.mnhn.fr

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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