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Biodiversity Blog

 

New wasp species named after UT Entomologist

alexwildi

Glyptapanteles alexwildi is one of 136 new tropical wasp species that have been recently discovered. This species is named after Entomologist Alex Wild, curator of Entomology in the Biodiversity Center.

Glyptapanteles is a genus of small, often inconspicuous parasitoid wasps containing hundreds of species found worldwide. The genus is most diverse in the tropics of North and South America, and many species still lack formal names. Larvae of this genus are able to manipulate their hosts into serving as bodyguards. This happens when the wasp lays eggs into caterpillar hosts. The eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the caterpillar’s body fluids. When they are developed, they eat through the caterpillar’s skin, attach themselves to a plant and create cocoons for themselves. The caterpillar then stands guard over the larvae until they hatch.

To read more about these new species, visit this site: https://zookeys.pensoft.net/article/35786/

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