Friday, 26 April 2013

71 New Parasitoid Wasp Species Discovered from Southeast Asia

Apr. 23, 2013 — A new study greatly expands knowledge of the wasp genus Oxyscelio. A total of 90 species are recognized from the Indo-Malayan and Palearctic realms of Asia, 71 of which are described here as new species. A total of 438 photographs are included to aid in specimen identification, all exported to and available for the public from EOL. Newly discovered species are described from a range of countries including Brunei, China, Christmas Island, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, while previous knowledge of the genus was confined only to The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Australia. 

The study was published in the open access journal Zookeys. 

Oxyscelio was first recognized as a distinct taxon in 1907, from a specimen collected in Java, Indonesia. The genus belongs to a wasp family that is represented mainly by parasitoid species. These are organisms that exhibit in essence parasitic behaviour, but unlike normal parasites they go further in sterilizing or killing the host, and sometimes even consuming it. The wasps from theOxyscelio group presumably parasitise on the eggs of another insect. Previous researchers Jean Jacqués Kieffer and Alan P. Dodd continued to describe new species until 1931. Oxyscelio received almost no attention from that time until 1976, when Lubomír Masner, one of the authors of this study, published revisionary notes for genera of the then-recognized family Scelionidae. This resulted in a total of 19 species known from Asia. 

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