Monday, 17 November 2014

A new species of Gasteruptiid Wasp from South Australia.

Gasteruptiid Wasps are a small groups of parasitoid Wasps targeting Solitary Bees (and possibly Solitary Wasps); the egg is laid in a Bee’s nest which has been provisioned with pollen for the developing larvae; the young Wasp then emerges and consumes the Bee’s egg or larval Bee and the food store provided for it, before pupating and emerging as an adult Wasp. Gasteruptiids are cosmopolitan in distribution, but at their most diverse in Australia, and to a lesser extent South America.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 7 October 2014, JohnJennings and Ben Parslow  of the AustralianCentre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity and School of Earth andEnvironmental Sciences at The University of Adelaide describe a new species of Gasteruptiid Wasp from South Australia.

The new species of Wasp is placed in the genus Gasteruption and given the specific name youngi, in honour of Andy Young, who collected some of the specimens from which the species is described on Kangaroo Island in February 2010. The species is described from four female specimens, one collected from Wirrabara Forest near Sweeping and three from Melaleuca Cottage on Kangaroo Island. The Kangaroo Island specimens were hovering over open ground, close to a female Bee of the species Euryglossula microdonta, which is widespread in South Australia and which is thought likely to be the host species for the larvae of Gasteruption youngi.

Gasteruption youngi, female specimen in (1) lateral view, and (2) dorsal view. Jennings & Parslow (2014).

Gasteruption youngi is 4.75-6.20 mm in length, excluding the ovipositor (egg laying organ). It is black and brown in colour, with an elongate shape, with distinctive ovipositor sheaths not known from any other species of Gasteruption.

See also…

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/two-new-species-of-ironwood-infesting.html
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