New Wasp Species Has Exceptionally Huge Stinger

Posted: Jul 9 2018, 6:12am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 9 2018, 9:54am CDT, in Latest Science News


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New Wasp Species has Exceptionally Huge Stinger
Credit: Kari Kaunisto

Researchers suggest that newly discovered wasp uses its massive stinger both for laying eggs and injecting venom.

Researchers have discovered a new species of wasp with an exceptionally large stinger. The insect was found in the lowland rainforest between the Andes and the Amazonian and uses its unique stinger both for laying eggs and piercing and injecting venom.

"The stinger of the new parasitoid wasp called Clistopyga crassicaudata is not only long but also very wide, in comparison with the size of the species,” said Professor Ilari E. Sääksjärvi from the University of Turku. “I have studied tropical parasitoid wasps for a long time but I have never seen anything like it. The stinger looks like a fierce weapon.”

Several new genera and species of wasps have discovered in recent years and many of those are quite unique. The new species is distinguished from others wasps by its enormous stinger.

“All female wasps, such as bees and hornets, have a stinger for injecting venom or laying eggs. The parasitoid wasps usually have a long ovipositor for laying eggs which are handy for reaching the host animals living inside a tree, for instance. With the ovipositor, the egg is placed either on or inside the host, and, as it also works as a stinger, the female wasp can inject venom into host in order to paralyze it.” Professor Sääksjärvi said.

Newly discovered wasp belongs to rare Clistopyga genus. The wasp species from this genus are known for laying eggs into the spiders. They paralyze spiders in the nests by injecting venom and lay eggs on them. Later, the hatching larva feeds on the paralyzed spider.

"We do not know for sure which spider this wasp species prefers,” said Professor Sääksjärvi. “The giant stinger of the current species is very likely a highly sophisticated tool as well, but unfortunately we can only guess at its purpose.”

The paper titled "The Neotropical species of Clistopyga (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Pimplinae). Part II: the C. isayae species group, with the description of seven new species" has been published on Zootaxa.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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