A new species of parasitoid wasp that constructs remarkable star-shaped cocoon masses is reported from the biodiversity hot spot Ryukyu Islands. Japanese researchers observed how the wasps construct “stars” after making their way out of the moth larvae they inhabit during their own larval stage. In their study, published in the open-access journal Journal of Hymenoptera Research, the team discuss the ecological significance of the cocoon mass and the evolution of this peculiar structure.
“The species’ striking colouring protects it from birds that prey on insects. They do not snatch the wasp sitting on the tree trunk as they think it will taste bad or that it is dangerous.”
With 3,000 known species and thousands more left to describe, the wasps of the subfamily Microgastrinae are the single most important group of parasitoids attacking the larvae of butterflies and moths, many of which are economically important pests. Consequently, these wasps have a significant impact on both the world’s economy and biodiversity. Due to their […]
A novel approach relying on a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen was proposed to greatly accelerate species identification and description, especially when it comes to hyperdiverse taxa, such as parasitic wasps.
Specimens kept in the collection of the Institute of Beneficial Insects at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU, China) revealed the existence of two previously unknown species of endoparasitoid wasps. Originally collected in 2013, the insects are known to inhabit prairies and bushes at above 3,400 m, which is quite an unusual altitude for this group […]
Thought to be Canada’s most promising potential defense against the brown marmorated stink bug – a globally spreading agricultural pest native to Asia – the samurai wasp (another species from Asia and natural parasitoid of the former) has been considered for future release in the country in recent years. However, prior to any formal decision […]
As many as twenty-one species of parasitoid wasps are described as new to science, following the first ever revision of their genus since its establishment back in 1893. The study simultaneously updates the count of species within the genus (Chromoteleia) to 27 in total, produces a systematic revision of the world’s representatives of this group […]
A myriad of species and genera new to science, including economically important wasps drawing immediate attention because of their amusing names and remarkable physical characters, in addition to work set to lay the foundations for future taxonomic and conservation research, together comprise the latest 64th issue of Journal of Hymenoptera Research (JHR). Two genera (Qrocodiledundee and Tobleronius) named after […]
About the size of a sesame seed, a new species of wasp from Costa Rica, named Dendrocerus scutellaris, has elaborate branched antennae that could be used for finding mates. Or hosts. The new insect is described by PhD candidate Carolyn Trietsch, Dr. István Mikó and Dr. Andrew Deans of the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State, USA, together […]
A total of fifteen new species of parasitic wasps have been described from across the Neotropical region. Apart from belonging to a peculiar group of wasps distinct with large and elongated bodies, the new insects also draw attention with the curious names they have been formally assigned with. Among them, there are species named after […]