A new parasitoid wasp genus and species
Parasitoid wasps of the superfamily Platygastroidea are well represented in Australia. Approximately 10% (740 species in 80 genera) of all described species occur here, with an estimated 1800 species left to be described!
A new paper in Zookeys by taxonomist Zachary Lahey from Ohio State University and colleagues describes and names an unusual new genus and species of platygastroid wasp, Calixomeria lasallei, from southern Australia. The species is named after the late Dr John La Salle, a wasp taxonomist and previous Director of the Atlas of Living Australia.
The new species is from a poorly understood subfamily of platygastroids, the Sceliotrachelinae. Much previous work on this group has been done by entomologists searching for natural predators and parasitoids of pests of sugar cane, highlighting the importance of taxonomic research on parasitoid insects.