Kerala

New parasitoid wasp found

The new find has been named Aulacus sahyadrensis

The new find has been named Aulacus sahyadrensis  

Microscopic wasp lives in larvae of wood-boring beetles

A new parasitoid wasp has been discovered in the Elappara mountain ranges of Idukki district.

A team of researchers comprising P. Girish Kumar of Zoological Survey of India Western Ghats Regional centre, Kozhikode; C. Binoy, Senior Research Fellow at University of Calicut; and David Smith of American Museum of Natural History identified the seventh species of this rare genus.

In 1899

One previous report of a species of the same genus of the wasp dates back to 1899 from Meghalaya. Only seven species (including the new species) exist in the Asia, Dr. Binoy said.

The new find has been named Aulacus sahyadrensis, after Sahyadri, the vernacular name of the Western Ghats.

The species, a microscopic wasp in the range of 5 mm, lives primarily within the larvae of wood-boring beetles and wood wasps.

Findings published

These parasitic wasps are not harmful to humans and they essentially form a beneficial guild controlling the infestation of wood-boring pests. The findings have been published in the latest issue of Zootaxa, an internationally peer-reviewed journal on animal taxonomy.

Parasitic wasps are one of the unsung heroes among the groups of pollinators, colonising ants, and stinger wasps, Dr. Binoy said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:21:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/new-parasitoid-wasp-found/article29728727.ece

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