Wasps are insects and cataloged under order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita. Contrary to belief, they are not related to bees or ants. Wasps prey on other insects. Some parasitic wasps are used as a deterrent against other pests in agricultural environments. Since they prey on just the pests, there is minimal crop damage caused by using them.
Most wasps are solitary and do not sting or attack humans. Only a few are aggressive such as the Yellow Jacket. Wasps are distinguishable from bees by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow "waist," called a petiole, that separates the abdomen from the thorax. There are about 30,000 sub species of wasps identified to date.
The Nearctic zone includes most of North America as well as Greenland and the highlands of Mexico.
New Wasp Species
After studying specimens from the Nearctic deposited in the United States National Museum of Natural History and some specimens in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, researchers have found 16 new species of wasps from the Nearctic region, and they've described seven new species.
Video: Parasitic Wasps
The new species are described and illustrated in an article called "First Records, New Species, and a Key of the Charipinae (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Figitidae) From the Nearctic Region" that appears in the latest issue of Annals of the Entomological Society of America. A key to identify the Charipinae present in the Nearctic region is also given.
Members of the subfamily Charipinae (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Figitidae) are widely distributed around the world. They are mainly characterized as being a very small wasp, with a smooth and shiny body.
Specimens were studied using stereomicroscopy and a field-emission gun environmental scanning electron microscope.
Entomological Society of America
First Records, New Species, and a Key of the Charipinae (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Figitidae) From the Nearctic Region
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