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researchers discover new species of wasp-like flower flies | News Thiruvananthapuram

By on January 4, 2022 0
Thiruvananthapuram: A three-member team of Indian and German researchers, including an urban researcher, collaborated to discover two new species of very rare wasps like the flower flies of northeast India and the Western Ghats. The newly described species’ Monoceromyia flavoscutata ‘and’ M. nigra ‘belongs to the Syrphidae family. The results were published in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology.
Members of the genus are extremely rare with only 12 species recorded in India previously. The discovery of new species in this rare genus occurs in India after 80 years. They were discovered by H Sankararaman, a doctoral student from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, Anooj SS, assistant professor at the Agricultural University of Kerala, and Ximo Mengual, a scientist from the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum, Germany.
Surveys were carried out in the evergreen forests of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh as part of the study.
In addition to the two new species, the researchers revised the genus and redescribed seven existing species in the genus. They also found that two species’ Monoceromyia multipunctata ‘and’ M. previously described polistoides were synonymous. The new species’ M. flavoscutata ‘discovered at Thadiyankudisai in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, was named after its thoracic extremities which are yellow in color and can be differentiated from closely resembling species on the basis of thorax coloration and wing vein characters while that the other new species’ M. nigra ‘discovered west of Siang, in the Basar district of Arunachal Pradesh, differed from the closely related species in thoracic, abdominal and facial coloration and the character of the wing veins, it was named nigra in because of the black color of the thorax.
This genus is recognized by their facial projection from which emerge their antennae, petiole abdomen and coloring that mimic wire-cut wasps to escape predators.
The one discovered in the Western Ghats showed a peculiar habit of laying eggs on tree sap. Immature stages of the genus are reported to show interesting habitat preferences like sap flows and rot holes in trees, colonies of stingless bees, and water infills of plants like bamboo and agave. . The discovery of these rare species with specialized habitat preferences highlights the rich diversity of the Western Ghats and northeast India and the need to conserve natural vegetation, the researchers said.


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