PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSE FERNANDEZ-TRIANA, CANADIAN NATIONAL COLLECTION OF INSECTS
New parasitic wasps found in Costa Rica.
“Among the many animals that make their living off of other species, parasitic wasps are especially cunning. They inject other insects’ larvae and eggs with their own eggs. When they hatch, the larval wasps gradually eat their victims from the inside out.
Now, with the help of ordinary Costa Ricans, scientists have discovered nearly 200 new species of these tiny killers in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in the country’s northwest corner, with expectations that 20,000 more are waiting to be described.
The research, published last week in the journal ZooKeys, greatly expands the number of species in the genus Apanteles—parasitic wasps that prey on caterpillars.
Some species of parasitic wasps—called parasitoid wasps by scientists—are valued because they target populations of aphids, beetles, and flies harmful to humans and agriculture….”
Read more at National Geographic.