9 new wasp species of the genus Paramblynotus described from Africa and Madagascar

March 18, 2013
This is an image of a close up of Paramblynotus alexandriensis, a new species from South Africa. Credit: Simon van Noort

A newly published article "Revision of the Afrotropical Mayrellinae (Cynipoidea, Liopteridae), with the first record of Paramblynotus from Madagascar" by Dr. Simon van Noort, from Natural History Department, Iziko South African Museum, and Dr. Matthew L. Buffington from the Systematic Entomology Lab, USDA offers the description of 9 remarkable new species of wasps. Mayrellinids are extremely rare wasps, which are under-represented in museum collections. Most species are known from single specimens. The study was published in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research.

The Mayrellinae includes two genera, Kiefferiella and Paramblynotus, with only the latter genus occurring in the Afrotropical region. The representatives of the genus are very small species that look superficially like cynipids, or gall . Little is known about their biology. They are assumed to be parasitoid of wood-boring , although there is no confirmed host record to date.

This is an image of Paramblynotus behara, a new species for Madagascar and a first record of the genus for the island. Credit: Simon van Noort

The genus Paramblynotus is also recorded from Madagascar for the first time, with representatives of two species groups being present on the island. The P. seyrigi group, is erected in this study to accommodate a single, but highly distinctive new species, likely to be endemic to the island. The specimens were unearthed by the authors from a 1930s collection by André Seyrig, held in the in Paris.

This is an image of Paramblynotus zohy, a new species from Madagascar. Credit: Simon van Noort

"Discovering the field box full of unusual wasps was reminiscent of excitement around opening presents as a child. In fact most new samples of wasps collected in the region evoke such a response when first sorted under a microscope." explains Dr van Noort. "There is a huge diversity of undiscovered species in Africa and Madagascar and every new sample contains species unknown to science. Seyrig was a prolific collector of wasps. It was a privilege to be able to work on some of his that had not been examined by specialist taxonomists since they were collected in the 1930's."

Explore further: Uncovering behavior of long-dead insects

More information: van Noort S, Buffington ML (2013) Revision of the Afrotropical Mayrellinae (Cynipoidea: Liopteridae), with the first record of Paramblynotus from Madagascar. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 31: 1–64, doi: 10.3897/JHR.31.4072

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1 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2013
You're one ugly mother-flipper.

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