There's a brand new species on the record of terrifying creatures of the Amazon: Calistoga crassicaudata. It's a tiny parasitoid wasp with a large stinger that the feminine makes use of not solely to paralyze her host but additionally to deposit eggs contained in the unsuspecting creature (who will quickly endure a grueling demise because the child wasps burst out of its physique).
Researchers revealed a hanging picture and detailed description of C. crassicaudata, together with six different new wasp species, within the journal Zootaxa. C. crassicaudata, which is simply 9.eight millimeters lengthy, boasts a considerably phallic-looking stinger that’s about half its physique size.
"We’re discovering new species on a regular basis, however solely a small fraction of them are so thrilling," mentioned Ilari Sääksjärvi, an entomologist on the College of Turku in Finland and co-author on the paper.
C. crassicaudata is a kind of parasitoid wasp. These wasps lay their eggs on or within the our bodies of different bugs, finally killing them. [Biodiversity Abounds: Stunning Photos of the Amazon]
The stinger can be known as an ovipositor, because the wasp makes use of the physique half to position its eggs inside a bunch's physique. "Parasitoid wasp ovipositors (stingers) are normally lengthy," Sääksjärvi advised Micronis in an e mail. "However this species differs from the others because the ovipositor can be very broad, sort of thickened apically and powerful."
It might sound tough to catch one in every of these needle-wielding wasps with out getting stung, however Sääksjärvi mentioned the sting of parasitoid wasps doesn't harm a lot in contrast with these of different wasps and bees. And, he mentioned, the species with superlong stingers usually can't sting people as a result of their stinger is simply too flimsy.
Though these wasps look scary and their egg hosts endure a merciless, gradual demise, parasitoid wasps are essential for controlling the populations of different pests, in response to the College of Maryland.
They're a extremely various group, too. "We hold discovering new species, nearly on a weekly foundation," Sääksjärvi mentioned. There are such a lot of species that Sääksjärvi mentioned he and his colleagues "solely have time to explain a part of them." So, go forward and proceed letting your creativeness run wild about what else lurks within the Amazon.
Authentic article on Micronis.