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Scelionid wasps of the Afrotropical region

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

ClassificationIdentification keys







Idiobiont endoparasitoids of insect and spider eggs.


The classification presented here follows Chen et al. 2021. Finally a comprehensive phylogenetic assessment based on both morphological and molecular data to formulate a revised classification of Platygastroidea has been completed. Murphy et al. (2007) conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the entire Platygastroidea in which the Platygastridae was supported as a monophyletic group nested within Scelionidae. As a result the Scelionidae were retrieved as polyphyletic, but the classification was not revised because of low support for many of the deeper nodes in the cladogram, and inadequate taxon sampling (less than a quarter of the valid genera in the superfamily were included in their analyses). Based on the results of Murphy et al. (2007), Sharkey (2007) formally synonymised Scelionidae with Platygastridae. Subsequently McKellar & Engel (2012) raised the tribes Sparasionini and Nixonini to family level and recognized four families: Nixoniidae, Sparasionidae, Scelionidae and Platygastridae, but in Ortega-Blanca et al. (2014) they treated placement of these two tribes within the Platygastroidea as incertae sedis recognizing only two families: Scelionidae and Platygastridae. These higher classification changes made by Sharkey (2007) and McKellar & Engel (2012) were largely not accepted (Talamas & Buffington, 2015; Popovici et al. 2017). With a revised classification having recently been published supported by robust phylogenetic data (Chen et al. 2021) this latest classification schema is now followed.


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Photographs © Simon van Noort or Candice Owen (Iziko Museums of South Africa).

Web author Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)


Citation: van Noort, S. 2024. WaspWeb: Hymenoptera of the World. URL: www.waspweb.org (accessed on <day/month/year>).

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