Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A new wasp: Ceraphron krogmanni

The family Ceraphronidae consists of some 360 known species of wasps. Scientists do believe that a great many species are yet to be described. In general little is known about this group. Most species are believed to be parasitoids of flies, but a few hyperparasitoids (parasitoid of a parasitoid) are also known. Many species are found in the soil, and of these, a good number are wingless.

The new species was collected in Germany and named after its collector, Lars Krogmann (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart). 

For the experts: Male genitalia phenotypes of Ceraphron (Jurine, 1807) are informative for species delimitation, but due to their minute size, these characters have not been used extensively. Recent developments in visualisation techniques, e.g. confocal laser scanning microscopy and high resolution bright field imaging, allow for more thorough examination of these minute anatomical structures and the development of a robust, male genitalia-based taxonomic system. We also establish a character set, a template, that will facilitate future revisions of these wasps. Ceraphron krogmanni sp. nov. is described with outsized male genitalia and multiple diagnostic traits that are unique amongst Ceraphron species.

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