Thursday 9 February 2017

Poemenia quercusia: A new species of Poemenine Wasp from Liaoning Province, China.

Poemenine Wasps are a small group of Ichneumon Wasps with a global distribution. They are parasitiods (animals with a larval stage that lives parasitical on other animals) targeting wood-boring insects. Most species target wood-boring Beetle larvae, though other groups are targeted, including other species of Wasp.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 8 February 2017, Shu-Ping Sun and Mao-Ling Sheng of the General Station of Forest Pest Management of the State Forestry Administration and Tian-Lin Chen of the Forest Protection Station of Haicheng, describe a new species of Poemenine Wasp from Liaoning Province in China.

The new species is placed in the genus Poemenia and given the specific name quercusia, where 'quercusia' derives from 'Quercus', Oak, the species being described from specimens collected from twigs of Quercus wutaishanica, the Mount Wutai Oak. The species is described from two specimens, one male and one female, the female being larger than the male at 8.5 mm compared to 6.8 mm. Both sexes are black in colour with yellow and brown markings.

Poemenia quercusia, female specimen in lateral view. Sun et al. (2017).

The host species for these Wasps is unknown, but the specimens were collected from twigs infested with boring Weevils of the genus Carcilia. However other members of the genus Poemenia, are known to target other species of Wasp, suggesting that such a host may also be present.

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