Sunday, 22 July 2012

New species of Ichneumon Wasp from Jalisco State in central Mexico.

Ichneumon Wasps are specialist parasites of other insects; typically they lay their eggs in the larvae of other insects, and their larvae then consume their hosts from the inside as they grow, eventually killing the host as they emerge. They are sometimes called Scorpion Wasps due to their elongated abdomens and formidable-looking ovipositors (egg laying organs), which resemble the stings of Scorpions, although they do not actually poses stings. This lifestyle, while gruesome to human observers, is clearly highly successful, with the Ichneumon Wasps being one of the most numerous and widespread groups of insects, with over 60 000 described species. 

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 11 July 2012, Andrey Khalaim of the División de Estudios de Postgrado e Investigación at the Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias at the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas and the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Enrique Ruíz-Cancino and Juana Coronado-Blanco, also of the División de Estudios de Postgrado e Investigación at the Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias at the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas describe a new species of Ichneumon Wasp from Jalisco Province in central Mexico.

The new species is named from a single female Wasp, black, and 12.6 mm in length. It is placed within the subfamily Metopiinae, which are specialist parasites of Caterpillars, in a new genus, Ojuelos, after the municipality of Ojuelos de Jalisco, the capitol of Jalisco State, where the Wasp was discovered, and given the specific name juachicus, after the city of Juachí, where it was found.

Ojuelos juachicus, a new species of Ichneumon Wasp named from a single female specimen found in Jalisco State, Mexico. Khalaim et al. (2012).

See also New species of Leafcutter Bee from Saudi ArabiaA Hatchet Wasp preserved in Tertiary amber from MexicoThree new species of Braconid Wasps from the Late Cretaceous of Magadan Province in the Russian Far EastThree new species of Braconid Wasp from Peru and Evidence of fungal parasites modifying the behavior of ants from the Eocene Messel Shale.

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