Two new beautiful wasp species of the rare genus Abernessia

Nov 25, 2013
This image shows the gorgeous black new wasp species Abernessia capixaba. Credit: Felipe B. Fraga/Cecilia Waichert

Two new beautiful wasp species are added to the rare pompilid genus Abernessia, which now contains a total of only four known species. The two new species A. prima and A. capixaba are believed to be endemic for Brazil alongside the rest of the representatives of the genus. Both wasps are distinguished by the large size (almost 3cm in length) and the beautiful black color with metallic shine typical for the family. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The enigmatic genus Abernessia is part of the spider wasp family Pompilidae. Spider take their name from the preference of the representatives to parasitize spiders. The females paralyze the prey by stinging it, which is then put in a specifically built nest. The female then lays a single egg on the abdomen of the spider and bury it carefully marking any signs that might give away the nest.

Interestingly it is believed to have a connection between the sizes of prey and size of the offspring of the wasps, the lager wasps are believed to appear from nests containing larger prey.

This image shows a female of Abernessia giga, a species that took its name from the impressively large size of the specimen. Credit: Cecilia Waichert

"There is a positive correlation between size of the preyed and size of the wasp produced in the next generation." comments Dr. Waichert, Utah State University.

Explore further: Aging white lion euthanized at Ohio zoo

More information: Waichert C, Pitts JP (2013) Two new species of Abernessia Arlé (Pompilidae, Ctenocerinae). ZooKeys 353: 77. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.353.6223

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aussie wasp on the hunt for redback spiders

Sep 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—University of Adelaide researchers say a small native wasp that scientists had forgotten about for more than 200 years is now making a name for itself - as a predator of Australia's most common ...

Three new wafer trapdoor spiders from Brazil

Nov 20, 2013

Scientists discover three new gorgeous species of the wafer trapdoor genus Fufius – F. minusculus, F. jalapensis, and F. candango. The discovery of the three new species, published in the open access journal ...

Recommended for you

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

Dec 19, 2014

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.