Eurofins MITOX discovers a new micro-wasp species
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Eurofins MITOX, the expert taxonomy group of Eurofins Agroscience Services has discovered a new species of wasp, part of the Scelionidae family. Two specimens were found; a female near the village of Fourcès in the Gers department of France and a male found near the village of Saint-Pé-Saint-Simon in the Lot-et-Garonne department of France.
The separate discoveries were made during field studies to investigate the effects of plant protection products on non-target arthropods. These studies are conducted in several different habitats such as natural meadows, orchards or agricultural fields. The Eurofins MITOX team did not expect these agricultural sites to harbour a new species for science!
The wasp species, smaller than a millimetre in length, is parasitic. Some parasitic wasps attack the larvae of other insect species, others the eggs of other insects. Our wasp is parasitic on the eggs of the Hemiptera, or True bugs - their eggs are as big as the wasp itself which provides a nice meal for the larvae of the parasitic wasp.
Image (L) Baeoneurella Maceki / Image (R) Field site of discovery, Saint-Pé-Saint-Simon
The small wasps caught the attention of our team because of its peculiar wings, not seen often in the family of wasps it belongs in, the Scelionidae. The two specimens were sent to Andrew Polaszek, a Researcher [Insects Division] in the Life Sciences Department of the Natural History Museum in London. He confirmed the species as being new to science and included it in the paper he and his colleagues were writing at the time - You can find the full article here. The two specimens were then donated to the Natural History Museum in London.
The name of the species is Baeoneurella maceki
If you would like further information or have any Taxonomy queries, please contact Elias de Bree, General taxonomist, Eurofins MITOX.