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African Natural History

On-line version ISSN 2305-7963
Print version ISSN 1816-8396

Afr. nat. history (Online) vol.5  Cape Town Jan. 2009


Megalyridia capensis (Hymenoptera: Megalyridae: Megalyridiini), a relict species endemic to South Africa



Simon van NoortI; Scott ShawII

INatural History Collections Department, Iziko South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town, 8000 South Africa, and Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701 South Africa, E-mail:
IIU.W. Insect Museum, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Wyoming, 1000 East University Avenue, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3354, U.S.A. E-mail:




Numerous further specimens of the monotypical megalyrid species Megalyridia capensis Hedqvist have recently been collected from diverse habitats encompassing a distributional range of more than 800 km in South Africa. The male of M. capensis is recorded for the first time. We provide high-quality images of both sexes and a key to genera of Megalyridae occurring in the Afrotropical region. Online keys are available at: The biogeography of this relict species is discussed.

Keywords: biogeography, distribution, description, identification key, Megalyridia, relict species, systematics.


“Full text available only in PDF format”



We thank Lars Vilhelmsen (University of Copenhagen) for valuable comments on the manuscript and Roy Danielsson (Curator of the Insect Collection, Museum of Zoology, Lund University) for providing information concerning the type. This work was supported by South African National Research Foundation grants GUN 61497, GUN 2068865 and GUN 2069377 awarded to S.v.N. and by a 2009 U.W Faculty Grant-in-Aid awarded to S.R.S.



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Received 11 June 2009
Accepted 25 August 2009

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