Two New Wasp Species Discovered in Brazil

Posted on November 26, 2013

Abernessia capixaba


Scientists have discovered two new wasp species in Brazil. One of the newly discovered wasp species, Abernessia capixaba, (pictured) is a gorgeous black color. The large wasps are about 3 centimeters in length. They belong to the rare pompilid genus Abernessia, which now consists of four species following the discovery of two new species.

The wasps parasitize spiders. Females of the wasps sting a spider and lay one egg on its abdomen. The wasps then put the spider in a specifically built net and bury it. The scientists discovered a connection between the sizes of prey and size of the offspring of the wasps. They say the larger wasps are believed to appear from nests containing larger prey.

Dr. Waichert, Utah State University, said in a statement, "There is a positive correlation between size of the spider preyed and size of the wasp produced in the next generation."

The research paper was published here in ZooKeys.

Photo: Felipe B. Fraga/Cecilia Waichert