Nav: Home

New wasps named after Crocodile Dundee and Toblerone amongst 17 new genera and 29 species

June 25, 2018

A total of 17 new genera and 29 new species of parasitoid wasps were identified following a study into the material deposited at major natural history collections around the globe in an attempt to further uncover the megadiverse fauna of the group of microgastrine wasps.

The novel taxa known to inhabit the tropics, including the Afrotropical, Australasian, Neotropical and the Oriental region, are published by Dr Jose Fernandez-Triana and Caroline Boudreault of the Canadian National Collection of insects in Ottawa in a monograph in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research.

Curiously, amongst the newly described wasps, there are several newly described genera and species, which received particularly amusing names.

Reported from the Australasian region, the genus Qrocodiledundee is not only a nod to the famous Australian action comedy 'Crocodile Dundee', which also happens to be a favourite of the lead author's, but also refers to Jose's own nickname. In the past, Jose himself used to track down and catch crocodiles for scientific study, and was even bitten by one, much like the fictional character played by Paul Hogan. Further, the so far only member known in the genus carries the name Qrocodiledundee outbackense, where the species name (outbackense) alludes to the Outback - the vast and remote interior of Australia.

Another favourite of the first author, the chocolate brand 'Toblerone' was in its turn sewn into the genus name Tobleronius. According to the scientists, a segment in the midsection of the bodies of those wasps resembles the triangle pieces comprising the chocolate bars, "if one has enough imagination and love for chocolate!"

Five of the newly discovered species are named in tribute to five major natural history institutions, which are greatly appreciated by the authors due to their outstanding insect collections. These are the species Billmasonius cienci, Carlmuesebecki smithsonian, Gilbertnixonius biem, Jenopappius magyarmuzeum and Ypsilonigaster naturalis referring to the Canadian National Collection of insects in Ottawa (CNC), the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the Natural History Museum in London (formerly known as the British Museum, abbreviated as 'BM'), the Hungarian Natural History Museum (Magyar Természet-Tudományi Múzeum) and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, respectively.

The rest of the new species and genera were given more conventional names, inspired by the wasps' distinctive characters, type localities, or were given the names of prominent scientists, as well as beloved friends and family.

Despite of the scale of the present contribution, it is highly likely that there are many more microgastrine wasps still awaiting discovery.

"Although an updated and more comprehensive phylogeny of Microgastrinae is probably years ahead, we hope the present paper contributes toward that goal by describing a significant number of new taxa and making them available for future studies," conclude the authors.
Original source:

Fernandez-Triana J, Boudreault C (2018) Seventeen new genera of microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) from tropical areas of the world. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 25-140.

Pensoft Publishers

Related Chocolate Articles:

Cocoa & chocolate are not just treats -- they are good for your cognition
In a recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Italian researchers examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains.
Eating chocolate may decrease risk of irregular heartbeat
Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate was associated with significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF)--a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat--in a large study of men and women in Denmark led by researchers at Harvard T.H.
Milk versus dark chocolate: A scientific showdown (video)
Valentine's Day is nearly here. Whether you're spending it with your significant other or flying solo, chocolate is often in the mix.
Pigs and chocolate: Using math to solve problems in farming
Improving cocoa yields for the chocolate industry, estimating the quality of meat in pigs and refining the design of a hydroponics system, were three farming challenges tackled by academics at a recent workshop hosted by the University of Bath's Institute for Mathematical Innovation.
Scientists discover way to make milk chocolate have dark chocolate health benefits
Dark chocolate can be a source of antioxidants in the diet, but many consumers dislike the bitter flavor.
Belgian researchers check quality of chocolate with ultrasound
The quality of Belgium's famous chocolate largely depends on the crystals that form during the hardening of the chocolate.
Social engineering: Password in exchange for chocolate
It requires a lot of effort and expense for computer hackers to program a Trojan virus and infiltrate individual or company computers.
Creating a reduced-fat chocolate that melts in your mouth
Chocolate is divinely delicious, mouthwateringly smooth and unfortunately full of fat.
You can thank diverse yeasts for that coffee and chocolate
Humans have put yeast to work for thousands of years to make bread, beer, and wine.
Fungus that threatens chocolate forgoes sexual reproduction for cloning
A fungal disease that poses a serious threat to cacao plants -- the source of chocolate -- reproduces clonally, Purdue University researchers find.

Related Chocolate Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...