277 New Wasp Species Discovered in Costa Rica

Posted on November 6, 2013

Male Heterospilus wasp

277 new wasp species have been discovered in Costa Rica. The wasps are braconid wasps of the tribe Heterospilini. The wasps are described here in the journal, ZooKeys. A male Heterospilus species is pictured above. This is the second part of an extensive two-part study of the braconid subfamily Doryctinae from Costa Rica, published by authors Paul M. Marsh, and Alexander L. Wild and James B. Whitfield, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The braconid family is a large and diverse group of paristoid wasps. There are approximately 17,000 recognized species. The scientists say thousands more species likely remain undescribed.

Dr. Marsh said in the announcement, "If the numerous unplaced species in the unsorted specimens we have looked at are added to the above figures, the enormous diversity of this genus in such a small locality becomes obvious. We estimate that perhaps another 50-100 species could be added to the total to contribute to the astonishing biodiversity of Costa Rica."

Photo: Alexander Wild

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