The spectacular wasps of the Afrotropical genus Synagris (Vespidae: Eumeninae) are conspicuous elements of the fauna, familiar to even the most "charismatic megafaunally-biased" person. Large males of the majority of the 24-odd species are endowed with impressive mandibular or clypeal horns, sternal spines or both, while small males are unarmed. S. fulva males have three cephalic horns. as do males of another, undescribed species. Sexual dimorphism varies widely - species in which there are no horns or spines have males smaller than the females, while males with "weapons" are, on average, larger than or equal to females in size. Variation in male size is greatest in species with greater sexual dimorphism. Females of one species, S. cornuta, construct multicellular mud nests and progressively provision young. Males visit nests with closed cells and will guard them for one to several days prior to emergence of the occupant, using the enlarged mandibular horns to fight with other investigating males. Nest parasitism from rhipiphorid beetles and other parasites may reduce the benefits of producing large males.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Vespidae Synagris cornuta
Species 2: Hymenoptera Vespidae Synagris fulva
Keywords: subsocial wasp, Afrotropical
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