Friday 8 November 2013

Four new species of Braconid Wasp from China.

Braconid Wasps are parasitoid Wasps (i.e. Wasps whose larvae mature inside the living bodies of other insects, which generally die as a result) related to the more familiar Ichneumon Wasps, but much smaller. They have a formidable appearance, but are in fact stingless, making them harmless to non-host species. There are about 150 000 known species found across the globe.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 4 January 2013, Cheng-jin Yan, Jun-hua He and Xue-xin Chen, all of the Institute of Insect Sciences at Zhejiang University, describe four new species of Braconid Wasps from China; all are placed in the existing genus Brulleia.

The first new species is named Brulleia fanjingensis, after Fanjing Mountain in Guizhou Province, China, where the species was discovered. The species is described from a single male specimen. It is 15.5 mm in length and black with yellow and brown markings.

Brulleia fanjingensis, single known specimen, male. Yan et al. (2013).

The second new species is named Brulleia longipalpis, named for its long maxillary palp (limb-like appendage next to the mouth used to taste food before ingestion). The species is named from a single 16 mm female specimen, black with yellow and brown markings, from Motuo (or Mêdog) County in southeast Tibet.

Brulleia longipalpis, single known specimen, female. Yan et al. (2013).

The third new species is named Brulleia noncarinata, meaning absent-carina; the Wasp lacks a dorsal carina (ridge) on the first segment behind the head. The species is named from a single female specimen, 18.5 mm in length, and black with red and yellow markings. It was also discovered in Motuo (or Mêdog) County in southeast Tibet. 

Brulleia noncarinata, single known specimen, female. Yan et al. (2013).

The final new species is named Brulleia punctata, in reference to the dense punctation of scutellum (spots on the upper thorax). It is a 16.5 mm red and brown Braconid Wasp. The species is named from two female specimens from Yangkiaping in Hebei Province, China.

Brulleia punctata, female specimen. Yan et al. (2013).

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