18 de octubre de 2023

A new species of cuckoo wasp!

I'm delighted to share that my first paper has been published! We describe a new species of amisegine cuckoo wasp from the Arabian Peninsula, published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research. This was quite a remarkable find, since chrysidids of the subfamily Amiseginae were not known from the northern Afrotropics and the new species represent the third species of the genus and first record of the subfamily from this region.

The Amiseginae are a rather peculiar group of cuckoo wasps. Rather than being kleptoparasites or parasitoids of other wasps and bees, they actively search for stick insect eggs in leaf litter. When an egg is found, the female pierces the shell with her pointed mandibles and lays an egg of her own inside of it, after which the larva will feed on the yolk of the phasmid egg. They are in this regard similar to the even more morphologically aberrant Loboscelidiinae.
Even among members of the subfamily, Anachrysis is a real standout. Most other Afrotropical Amiseginae are quite strongly brachypterous, with males and females flightless. They are usually blackish or brownish in color, though some species (Alieniscus) have a reddish mesosoma. Anachrysis however has both sexes fully winged and exhibits extensive metallic blue integument. Based on several morphological features, such as the odd flattened mandible and translucent lateral lobes of the clypeus of the male, short metanotum without median enclosure and rounded propodeum, their closest relatives are probably the Nearctic and Neotropical Adelphe.

If you are interested in reading the publication, it is available here: https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.96.107489

Publicado el 18 de octubre de 2023 a las 10:10 PM por bullema bullema | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario