News That Matters

Tag: Parasitic

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...