Sphex schlaeflei, Schmid-Egger, 2019

Schmid-Egger, Christian, 2019, A review oI the Sphex flavipennis species group (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae) in northwest AIrica with description oI two new species and a discussion oI a species Irom Sardinia, Linzer biologische Beiträge 51 (1), pp. 459-471: 465

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Sphex schlaeflei


Sphex schlaeflei  SCHMID- EGGER nov.sp. (figs. 8, 18, 21)

Holotype: male 15.vi.2014 Morocco, 30 km NNW Tazenakht , on route N10, 30.830N 7.288W leg CSE (coll ZSM, barcoding voucher number BC ZSM HYM 22120View Materials)GoogleMaps  . Paratypes: 3 males, 2 females, same date as holotype, coll. CSE (1 male: barcoding voucher number BC ZSM HYM 22129View Materials, 1 female barcoding voucher number BC ZSM HYM 22121View Materials)  ; male 30.v.1995 Morocco, Anti-Atlas , 40 km SW Quarzazate, Steppe 10 km SW Tazenakht 30.515N 7.283W (leg. et. coll CSE)GoogleMaps  ; 2 females 7 males 30.v.1990 Ait Saoun near Agdz 30.733N 6.632W (leg. et coll. Schlaefle)GoogleMaps  ; male 11.vi.2007 Tizi'n-Tinififft 30.710N 6.588W (leg. et coll. Schlaefle)GoogleMaps  ; male 19.vi.2007 Ouarzazate 30.911N 6.923W (leg. et coll. Schlaefle)GoogleMaps  .

D i a g n o s i s: Sphex schlaeflei  is similar to S. funerarius  and differs genetically from the remaining species of this lineage (fig. 1). The female is characterized by the following character combination: T 1-3 and S1-3 red, apart from black petiole, legs black (at most foretibia red), wings transparent with grey apical margin, erect setae of face yellowish-brown, petiole 1,3x as long as medial width. S. flavipennis  , S. maroccanus  and S. funerarius  differ by having legs predominantly red and setae of face white.

The male of S. schlaeflei  is characterized by black legs, T 1-4 and S 1-4 red (apart from black petiole), wings transparent with grey margin, AS 6-8 with placoids. Setae of underside of head and mesosoma yellowish or ̎dirty̎ white, darker than in S. funearius. The remaining Sphex  males from northwest Africa with red abdominal base differ by number of placoids. They lack in S. flavipennis  (resp. are reduced to very narrow placoids in AS 7-8). S. funerarius  and S. maroccanus  have large placoids on AS 7-9, at least in African populations. S8 of S. schlaeflei  is unique by a rounded apex with small point.

D e s c r i p t i o n o f m a l e h o l o t y p e: Body length 20.0 mm. Colour: Black, apical third of mandible brown. Red are T 1-3 and S 1-3 except petiole, basal half of T 4 and S4. Face below ocelli with dense adpressed silver pubescence and erect white setae. Pilosity of underside of head and mesosoma yellowish to brownish white. Wings greyish with some yellow shimmer, with infumate apical zone, wing venation black. Morphology: AS 6-8 with large placoids. Petiole 2,3x as long as its maximal width. S8 with rounded apex, apically with small point. Otherwise similar to S. funerarius  .

V a r i a t i o n i n m a l e p a r a t y p e s: Body length. 19.0 - 25.0 mm. Adpressed setae of face yellow in some specimens, red colour of abdomen variable ( T 2 all black, or T 4 all red).

D e s c r i p t i o n o f f e m a l e: Body length 20.0-30.0 mm. Colour: Black, basal half of mandible and tegula dark red; parts of foretibia and foretarsi dark red, T 1-3 and S 1-4 red, apart from petiole (red is somewhat darker than in S. funerarius  ). Wings greyish with an infumate apical zone. Wing venation reddish, media black. Erect setae of face dark brown-yellowish, adpressed setae of face silver. Remaining setae of thorax and mesosoma brownish. Morphology: Petiole 1,4-1.5x maximal width. Otherwise similar to S. funerarius  .

G e o g r a p h i c d i s t r i b u t i o n: The species is only known from a small area around Ouarzazate in southern Morocco, south of the Atlas Mountains.

H a b i t a t: S. schlaeflei  was found in a steppe-like habitat and in a small oasis with palm trees on flowering Echinops spp.

E t y m o l o g y: The species is named after Wolfgang Schlaefle from Switzerland, a friend and engaged hymenopterist. He collected the new species for the first time.


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium