Striking new wasp species discovered in Ecuador | Biology
Entomologists have described a new iridescent species of the parasitoid wasp genus Dolichomitus of the Ecuadorian Andes.
Dolichomitus is a widespread genus of Darwin wasps characterized by their large bodies, long ovipositors and bright colors.
It includes over 75 species worldwide, 20 of which are found in the Neotropics.
The new species of Dolichomitus, named Dolichomitus meii, was discovered at the Yanayacu Biological Station located on the northeast slope of the Ecuadorian tropical Andes.
“Dolichomitus meii show what wonderful surprises the tropical forests of the Earth can contain, ”said Dr Diego Pádua, postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia.
“The species is particularly interesting for its large size and unique coloring.
“With a quick glance, his body looks black but glows electric blue in the light.”
“In addition, its wings are golden yellow. Hence, one could say that it is like a flying gem.
Dolichomitus wasps are parasites of insect larvae living deep in tree trunks.
They lay a single egg on the insect larva, and the wasp hatchling eats the host larva as it grows.
“The ovipositor of Dolichomitus meii is immensely long, ”said Professor Ilari Sääksjärvi, researcher at the Biodiversity Unit at the University of Turku.
“He pushes the ovipositor into holes in the wood and tries to find host larvae inside.”
“The species’ striking coloring protects it from birds that prey on insects.”
“They don’t tear off the wasp sitting on the trunk of the tree because they think it will taste bad or it’s dangerous.”
The discovery is reported in an article in Biodiversity Data Log.
F. Di Giovanni et al. 2021. A new kind of Dolichomitus Smith, 1877 (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae; Pimplinae) from South America. Biodiversity Data Log 9: e67438; doi: 10.3897 / BDJ.9.e67438