Ropalidia parartifex Tan & van Achterberg

Tan, Jiang-Li, Van Achterberg, Kees & Chen, Xue-Xin, 2014, Pictorial key to species of the genus Ropalidia Guerin-Meneville, 1831 (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) from China, with description of one new species, ZooKeys 391, pp. 1-35: 21-23

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Ropalidia parartifex Tan & van Achterberg

sp. n.

Ropalidia parartifex Tan & van Achterberg  sp. n. Figures 2C, 3


♀ (NWUM), CHINA: Longmen, Shangyong, Yunnan, 27.ix.2010, JL Tan. Paratypes: 2 ♀ + 1 ♂ (NWUM, RMNH), same data as holotype; 1 ♀ (GSFA), Xishuangbanna, Wangtianshu, Yunnan, 610 m, 23.iv. 2002, SP Sun; 2 ♂ (ZJUH), Jinghong Forestry Park, Yunnan, 31.vii.2003, no. 20045919, 20045938, J Lu; 2 ♀ (ZJUH), Mt. Youle, Yunnan,17.iv.1984, no. 811874, 811873, JH He; 1 ♀ + 2 ♂ (NWUM), Banna, Menglun Yunnan, 6.x.2010, JL Tan; 4 ♂ (NWUM), Yaoqu, Mengla, Yunnan, 28.ix.2010, JL Tan. THAILAND: 1 ♀ (RMNH), Chieng Dao, 19.1.1958, K. Yoshikawa (identified as Ropalidia artifex  (Sauss.) var. by van der Vecht in 1960); 1 ♀ + 1 ♂ (RMNH), Siam, Chiangmai, 23.x.1922, F.4560, F.4571 (the female has the first tergite entirely black).


The new species is similar to Ropalidia artifex  , but differs as follows: clypeus of female largely black and apically yellow (yellow with a black arrow-shaped mark in Ropalidia artifex  ); second metasomal tergum entirely black and strongly swollen subapically (with yellow apical band apically and weakly swollen subapically); male genitalia: proximal margin of penis gradually contracted in dorsal view and with a comparatively small hook in ventral view (abruptly contracted in dorsal view and with a large hook in ventral view).


♀, length of body (head + mesosoma + metasomal segments I–II) 11-12 mm, fore wing 10.5-12 mm.

Head. Head in frontal view about 1.2 × as wide as high; in dorsal view 2.2 × as wide as long, straightly contract behind eye, emarginate posteriorly, about 1.1 × as broad as mesonotum (including tegulae). Gena in lateral view about 0.7 × as wide as eye; occipital carina present completely, slightly sinuate laterally (Fig. 2C). Posterior ocelli slightly closer to each other than to anterior ocellus; OOL (posterior ocellus-ocular distance):diameter of ocellus:POL (distance between the two posterior ocelli) = 10:4:3. Inner eye margins converging ventrally, about 1.25 × further apart at vertex than at clypeus. Clypeus weakly convex, pointed apically, nearly 1.1 × wider than high. Inter-antennal distance slightly shorter than antenna-ocular distance. Antenna about 4.0 mm long, gradually thickened apically; scape slightly curved, about 4.4 × as long as its apical width; third article slightly more than 3.3 × as long as its apical width, about as long as fourth, fifth and sixth articles combined; terminal article bullet-shaped, about 1.2 × as long as its basal width (Fig. 3A).

Mesosoma. Mesosoma robust, in dorsal view about 1.4 × as long as wide (Fig. 3B). Pronotum in dorsal view broadly and weakly rounded anteriorly, with lateral sides diverging posteriorly in straight lines; ventral corner gradually narrowed (Figs 2C, 3B); pronotal carina raised entirely and sinuate laterally. Scutellum trapezoid, strongly convex. Posterior face of propodeum weakly convex, without median complete furrow, slightly depressed in front of orifice (Fig. 3D).

Metasoma. First segment elongate, about 3.5 × as long as high, 2.5 × as long as wide, weakly widening posteriorly from level slightly anterior to spiracle, widest at two thirds of its length and slightly contracted apically. Profile of second sternite in lateral view curved in anterior two thirds, with second tergite strongly swollen subapically (Fig. 3D, E).

Sculpture. Body covered with fine tomentum except in apical half of clypeus and with sparse setae. Clypeus, front, antero-ventral area of mesopleuron, metapleuron and sides of propodeum with scattered fine punctures; vertex, pronotum, mesoscutum, scutellum and postero-dorsal area of mesopleuron reticulate-rugose; posterior face of propodeum densely striate; first metasomal tergite shiny, with fine and sparse punctures on anterior half, and dense punctures on its posterior half; second–sixth metasomal segments dull, with dense punctures.

Colour (Fig. 2C). Body black to blackish brown with irregular reddish brown patches on the following parts: upper half of clypeus, ventral part of ocular sinus, gena, pronotum, mesopleuron antero-dorsally and propodeum laterally, but clypeus apically, mandible basally, tegula, propodeum valve and basal narrow part of second metasomal segment yellowish brown; apical half of first metasomal segment reddish brown. Coxa basally with irregular small yellow stripes. Fore wing slightly brown tinged with pterostigma yellowish brown; marginal cell and median cell apically dark brown (Fig. 3C).

Male (Figs 3 F–J). Similar to female but head more transverse, in frontal view about 1.25 × as wide as high; in dorsal view 3.3 × as wide as long, directly contracted behind eyes (Figs 3F, G). Antenna with 13 articles, third to terminal articles with slightly raised tyloids (Fig. 3H). Frons, clypeus, mandible, ventral antenna and antero-ventral area of mesopleuron yellow. Male genitalia (Fig. 3J): proximal margin of penis gradually contracted in dorsal view and curved slightly into a hook in ventral view.


The species name is derived from “para” (Latin for “near”) and “artifex”, because it is similar to Ropalidia artifex  .


China (Yunnan); Thailand.