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Tag: Parasitic

Scientists catalogue thousands of parasitic wasps in new monograph

Scientists catalogue thousands of parasitic wasps in new monograph

Science
March 24 (UPI) -- In a newly published 1,089-page monograph, entomologists have detailed all of the known wasp species belonging to the Microgastrinae subfamily, the most significant group of parasitoids targeting the larvae of moths and butterflies. Many of the moths and butterflies attacked by Microgastrinae wasps are destructive crop pests, making the wasp species of interest to scientists involved in biological pest control research. There are 2,999 known Microgastrinae wasps. All of them are described in the latest monograph, published this week in the journal ZooKeys. Until now, information on the subfamily was scattered across hundreds of papers. "Microgastrinae is an important and hyperdiverse group, which has long played a central role in our understanding of insect parasitism i...
Parasitic wasp species that targets invasive stink bug named after Idris Elba

Parasitic wasp species that targets invasive stink bug named after Idris Elba

Science
Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Scientists have named a newly discovered parasitic wasp species after the actor Idris Elba. The species -- its scientific name, literally, Idris elba -- was found in Guanajuato, Mexico. The wasp parasitizes an invasive stink bug called the bagrada bug, a pest that causes major damage to cruciferous vegetables. Scientists described the new species this week in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The Idris genus was first described in 1856. Today, the genus includes more than 300 species. All other known Idris species infest the eggs of spiders. "This is the first association of an Idris species with a non-spider host, and the association is confirmed with molecular diagnostic tools that enable identification of parasitoid and host from the remains of parasitized eggs," ...
Scientists find two new species of giant parasitic wasps in Uganda

Scientists find two new species of giant parasitic wasps in Uganda

Science
Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Finnish researchers conducting field studies in Africa have discovered two new species of giant parasitic wasps. The discovery, described this week in the journal ZooKeys, suggests the group of insects known as Afrotropical rhyssine wasps is more diverse than previously thought. The largest rhyssine wasp species can grow to lengths of 10 centimeters -- nearly 4 inches. The parasitic species lay their eggs inside the larvae of other wasps and beetles that harvest rotting wood. Until now, everything that scientists knew about the group of insects in the Afrotropical region was based on just 30 specimens. "A good example of how poorly tropical rhyssines are known is the species Epirhyssa overlaeti, which is the largest African rhyssine," lead researcher Tapani Hopkins, a do...
Parasitic beetle mimics the perfume of female bees to trick males, infiltrate nests

Parasitic beetle mimics the perfume of female bees to trick males, infiltrate nests

Science
Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Blister beetles are chemical con artists, and according to new research, they can adapt their trickery to dupe a variety of bee species. During one of several larval stages, Meloe franciscanus beetles infiltrate bee nests by mimicking the chemicals emitted by female bees -- perfume-like compounds called pheromones. The perfume attracts males, which the larvae attach themselves to, hitching a ride back to the nest. Once in the nest, the beetle larvae can subsist on pollen, nectar and bee eggs, emerging as adult bees the following winter. New analysis of the parasite's chicanery showed blister beetle larvae adapt their chemical ploy to match the perfume of the local bees species. When scientists exposed two different bees species -- Habropoda pallida from California's Moj...