Sunday, 3 June 2012

Three new species of Braconid Wasp from Peru.

Braconid Wasps are parasitoid Wasps (i.e. Wasps whose larvae mature inside the living bodies of other insects, which generally die as a result) related to the more familiar Ichneumon Wasps, but much smaller. They have a formidable appearance, but are in fact stingless, making them harmless to non-host species. There are about 150 000 known species found across the globe.

In a paper published in the journal Zookeys on 21 May 2012, Lidia Sulca of the Natural History Museum at the University of San Marcos and Michael Sharkey of the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky describe three new species of Braconid Wasp from Peru.

The first of these species is Sesioctonus huggerti, Huggert's Wasp, named in honor of the late Swedish entomologist Lars Huggert, who collected the single known specimen from Puerto Maldonado in southern Peru in 1984. It is a 5 mm black wasp with yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen.

Sesioctonus huggerti. (1a) Dorsal view. (1b) Lateral view. (1c) Wings. (1d) Detail of (1a). Sulca & Sharkey (2012).

The second new species is named Sesioctonus wayquecha, the Wayquecha Wasp, after the locality where it was discovered (Presumably the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station, though this isn't specified). It is a 4.3-5.5 mm black wasp with yellowish mouthparts, limbs and mid-body.

Sesioctonus wayquecha. (2a) Lateral view. (2b) Wings. (2c) Detail of abdomen. (2d) Head. (2e) Dorsal view. Sulca & Sharkey (2012).

The third new species is Sesioctonus bina, 'bina' meaning 'wasp' in Shipibo, a language of the Peruvian Amazon. This is described from a single, female, specimen from San Pedro in the Cusco Region. It is a 3.35 mm black and orange wasp.

Sesioctonus bina. (3a) Head and forebody in lateral view. (3b) Lateral view. (3c) Wings. (3d) Midquaters. Sulca & Sharkey (2012).

See also Two new species of Soldier Fly from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwest ChinaTwo new species of True Bug from the Mesozoic of ChinaNew species of Leaf-Mining Moth from northern ChileAn Assassin Bug from the Palaeocene of Spitsbergen Island and New species of moth from Yunnan Province.

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