The African fauna of the rare family of parasitoid wasps, Orussidae, is reviewed. Five genera with 24 valid species are recognized. Chalinus davidi Vilhelmsen n. sp. is described; the male of Chalinus albitibialis Vilhelmsen, 2005, the male of Leptorussus madagascarensis Vilhelmsen, 2007 and the female of Orussus smithi Blank et al., 2006 are described. A neotype is designated for Oryssus plumicornis Guérin-Meneville,  to properly define the genus-group name Chalinus Konow, 1897. Chalinus braunsi (Enslin, 1911), C. orientalis Guiglia, 1937 and C. somalicus Guiglia, 1935 are regarded as new junior synonyms of C. plumicornis. Leptorussus kwazuluensis Vilhelmsen, 2003 is regarded as a new junior synonym of L. africanus Benson, 1955. Distribution records for specimens examined by us are listed. The Afrotropical component of the African orussid fauna shows a high degree of endemism, with two endemic genera and 13 endemic species; only Chalinus timnaensis Kraus, 1998 and Pseudoryssus niehuisorum Kraus, 1998 have a cross-Saharan distribution. In contrast, there are only three species of Orussidae occurring exclusively in North Africa. An additional six North African species also occur outside Africa, in adjacent parts of the Palaearctic. The Atlas Mountain range spanning Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is a hotspot for orussid diversity, nine species having been recorded from there. The current Afrotropical assemblage of orussids are a result of several independently derived lineages, some possibly resulting from vicariance events dating as far back as the Late Cretaceous. The North African orussids have probably appeared as the result of several dispersal or speciation events, some putatively occurring as recently as the Pleistocene. Online Lucid interactive identification keys are available at: http://www.waspweb.org.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Vol. 119 • No. sp1
Vol. 119 • No. sp1