Nixonia masneri van Noort & Johnson, 2009

van Noort, Simon & Johnson, Norman, 2009, New species of the plesiomorphic genus Nixonia Masner (Hymenoptera, Platygastroidea, Platygastridae) from South Africa, ZooKeys 20 (20), pp. 31-51 : 42-44

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.20.112

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Nixonia masneri van Noort & Johnson

sp. n.

Nixonia masneri van Noort & Johnson , sp. n.

Figures 1A–F

Type material. Holotype male. SOUTH AFRICA, Western Cape, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, 34°16.481’S 19°01.033’E, 16 Jan–16 Feb 2000, S. van Noort, Malaise trap, KO98-M53, Mesic Mountain Fynbos, last burnt c. 1978, SAM-HYM-P025052, OSUC 256956 (SAMC) GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 2 males, same data SAM-HYM-P025052, OSUC 256940 (SAMC, OSUC) GoogleMaps ; 1 male: South Africa, Northern Cape, Avontuur Farm , 16km NW Nieuwoudtville, 764m, 31°16.249'S 19°02.900'E, 25 Dec 2008 – 27 Jan 2009, S van Noort, Malaise trap, GL07-FYN1-M73, Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos, SAM-HYM-P030242, OSUC 268382 (SAMC) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Most similar to Nixonia lamorali , distinguished by the mesoscutum which is as wide as long; a more expanded scape (2.5× longer than wide); lack of setae on the vertex; occipital carina present dorsally; and pronotal shoulders that are subquadrate.

Etymology. Named in honour of Lubomír Masner, who with his enthusiasm and dedication to the discovery and description of parasitic wasp species, has inspired passion in numerous protégés to catalogue the incredible hyper-diversity of the micro world.

Distribution and habitat association. Currently only known from two widely spaced localities: Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape Province and Avontuur Farm in the Northern Cape Province ( Fig 3 View Figure 3 ). Th e species is associated with the Fynbos biome and is thus likely to be present over a much larger area than currently recorded (the extent of the Fynbos biome is depicted in Fig 3 View Figure 3 ). Distribution map available at

Description: Holotype male. Length: 8.5 mm; completely black, mandibles usually black, but may be reddish-brown (figs 1A, B); wings infuscate throughout, brownish.

Head (figs. 1C-E) transverse in dorsal view, width 1.5× length; vertex rugulosepunctate, shining; OOL short, lateral ocellus separated from inner orbit by a third of ocellar diameter; POL 1.6× LOL; occiput rugulose-punctate, with reticulate microsculpture; occipital carina weakly developed dorsally; frons rugulose-punctate, shining, above toruli with few transverse wrinkles medially; frons somewhat narrow, IOS 0.9× greatest length of eye; toruli closely approximated, separated by distance less than half torulus diameter, frons between toruli not projecting, flat; rim of torulus evenly raised; apical margin of clypeus with blunt medial projection; position of malar sulcus demarcated by fine granulate microsculpture; sculpture of cheeks laterad of malar area rugose-punctate, with distinct longitudinal sculpture; mandible short, bidentate, upper tooth only slightly longer than lower, without dense basal tuft of setae; maxillary palpal segment 4 distinctly expanded medially, subtriangular; A1 finely reticulate, 2.5× longer than wide, greatest width beyond apical 0.6 of segment; length of A3 1.5× length of A2.

Figure Ι. Nixonia masneri van Noort & Johnson , sp. n., male, holotype. A habitus, lateral view B habitus, dorsal view C head, mesosoma, lateral view D mesosoma, dorsal view E head, anterior view F metasoma dorsal view. Scale bars in millimeters. (

Mesosoma (figs. 1 C,D) as high as wide, length 1.4× height in lateral view; pronotal shoulders coarsely punctate; lateral surface of pronotum coarsely punctate; netrion punctuate-rugulose with weak longitudinal striation; mesoscutum deeply punctate, with broad interstices; parapsidal lines absent; scutellum coarsely punctate, with fine microsculpture on posterior margin; median propodeal tooth subcordate, sides straight, length 1.4× maximum width, pointed apically, with median excavation bounded by lateral longitudinal carina; upper mesepisternum with strong longitudinal sculpture; fine foveae separating mesepisternum and mesepimeron extending from base of wing to coxal cavity; lower mesepisternum finely reticulate-punctate; mesepimeral hook smooth; tegula finely punctate; apex of forewing extending to apex of T4; fore and mid tibiae with fine, semidecumbent spines on outer surface.

Metasoma (figs. 1A,B,F) 3.7× longer than greatest width; T1 1.4× wider than long; T1–T4 longitudinally rugose.