Sunday, 3 August 2014

Four new species of Braconid Wasps from Vietnam.

Braconid Wasps are small parasitoid wasps (Wasps whose larvae grow inside the bodies of a living animal host) targeting a variety of Insect and Spider species. They are unusual in that they will lay multiple eggs within the same host (most parasitoid Wasps lay a single egg on each host), thereby allowing multiple larvae to mature within a large host, which is not necessarily killed in the process. Braconid Wasps are often fearsome in appearance, but are other than to targeted host species as they lack stings. Members of the Subfamily Rogadinae target the caterpillars of Butterflies and Moths, always killing and mummifying the caterpillar in the process.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 24 July 2014, Khuat Dang Long of the Institute of Ecology & Biological Resources at the Vietnam Academy of Science & Technology describes four new species of Braconid wasps from Vietnam. All are placed in the Rogadinid genus Iporhogas, which has five previously described species from east Asia and one from Africa.

The first new species is named Iporhogas albilateralis, meaning ‘white-sided’, a reference to its colouration. Iporhogas albilateralis is named from three female specimens, one collected from bushes Tam Dao in the northeast of the country, one from a garden on Phu Quoc Island in the south and one from a fruit orchard in Yen Thuy in the northwest. This is a 6.1 mm Braconid Wasp, yellow and black in colour but with distinctive white sides to its abdomen.

Iporhogas albilateralis, female. Long (2014).

The second new species is named Iporhogas contrastus, meaning ‘opposite’, referring to the contrasting colours on its body. Iporhogas contrastus is named from three specimens, one from an orchard in Tan Sonin northwest Vietnam, one from a forest in Lai Nhi Thang, also in the northwest of the country, and one from a forest in Rao An in the north-central part of the country. This is a 6.1 mm Braconid Wasp, with yellow foreparts and black and white hindparts.

Iporhogas contrastus, female. Long (2014).

The third new species is named Iporhogas simulatus, meaning ‘imitate’ or ‘copy’, due to its close resemblance to the previously described Iporhogas guangxiensis. Iporhogas simulatus is described from a single female specimen collected from a forest in A Roang in central Vietnam. It is a 7.5 mm Braconid Wasp, yellow in colour with a black and white abdomen. 

Iporhogas simulatus, female. Long (2014).

The final new species is named Iporhogas tricoloratus, three-coloured. Iporhogas tricoloratus is described from one female specimen collected from a forest in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in north-central Vietnam, and ten males from across the north of the country. The female is 6.3 mm in length, the males range from 4.5 to 5.2 mm. The species is yellow with a white abdomen with a large brown spot on the dorsal (top) surface and brown rear legs.

Iporhogas tricoloratus, female. Long (2014).

See also…


Braconid Wasps are small parasitic Wasps which can typically lay several eggs on a large host species (typically another Insect or Spider). The larval Wasps grow inside the host, before emerging to pupate on its...



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...




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...



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