J. HYM. RES. Vol. 16(2), 2007, pp. 211-233 The Genus Quartinia Ed. Andre, 1884 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Masarinae) in Southern Africa. Part I. Descriptions of New Species with Complete Venation Friedrich W. Gess Albany Museum, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa; email: [email protected] Abstract. — In this publication, the first of a projected series revising the Afrotropical (essentially southern African) species of the genus Quartinia Ed. Andre, 1884 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Masarinae), eleven new species are described. Of these, seven occurring variously in the southern Namib Desert and in its southward extension down the western coast of South Africa, and one occurring on the southern coast of South Africa, have been found nesting in sand-filled snail shells. They are: australis, bonaespei, conchicola, namaqua, namaquettsis, obibensis, and refugicoln. To these species is added vexilhita which is presumed to have the same nesting habits. A key to distinguish these species is given. The other three newly described species, all from Namibia, are: femorata, geigeriae and lamellata. Following van der Vecht and Carpenter (1990) Quartinia Ed. Andre, 1884 is here understood to include, as junior subjective synonyms, Quartiniella Schulthess, 1929 and Quartinioides Richards, 1962. As has been pointed out by Carpenter (2001), Quartiniella and Quartinioides were primarily based on the partitioning of a trend in the reduction of wing venation, Quartiniella being defined on the basis of the loss of 3rs-m and 2m-cu and Quarti-nioides because it has 2m-eu present but attenuate and interrupted, whereas Quarti-nia has it complete. In Quartiniella in particular and to some extent also in Quartinioides reduction of wing venation is a correlate of overall size reduction As formal taxonomic partitioning of essential-ly continuous variation is an unacceptable practice, Carpenter synonymized Quarti-niella and Quartinioides with Quartinia, a view with which the present author is in full agreement. Nevertheless, in view of the large num-ber of species in Quartinia, adoption of the above venational characters to divide the genus into smaller, more manageable but totally informal, non-natural units is found to be useful. Thus the present paper deals with species with complete venation -that is species which in the past would have been placed in Quartinia sensu stricto. In his revision Richards (1962) dealt with a total of 61 southern African species, 18 being placed in Quartinia, 38 in Quarti-nioides and five in Quartiniella. Of these, 11, 26 and two respectively were described as new. One additional species, placed in Quartinioides was added (Richards 1982). Available to Richards in 1962 were just over one thousand specimens -140 Quar-tinia, 727 Quartinioides and 148 Quartiniella. Ten species were known from only one specimen, 30 species from only one sex. It is clear that Richards suffered from a pau-city of material. Particularly the lack of large samples from individual populations spread over the distributional area pre-vented him from appreciating factors such as intraspecific variation and geographical clines. In some instances the associations of sexes is of doubtful validity, especially where males and females are from widely separated localities.