KOZHIKODE:Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis, a new species of class parasitic wasp, has been reported from Wayanad. Belonging to the genus of Cyrtoptyx Delucchi, it is only the second record of the species from the country and for the first time in Kerala. Earlier, the species was reported from Tamil Nadu (C. latipes) way back in the year 1979.
The new species has been discovered during the faunal exploration surveys conducted in the forested tracts of the southern Western Ghats in Wayanad district by P M Sureshan, scientist at the Western Ghat Regional Centre of Zoological Survey of India(ZSI), Kozhikode.
“A total of nine species of this genus have been recorded from across the world and only one from India. The discovery of the new species may not be of much interest for the public but is a case of interest for the researchers.
Interesting specimens of Cyrptoptyx were collected from a patch of moist deciduous forest located at the foothills of Banasura peak and it was then identified as an undescribed species. Only later it was found that the species belongs to the genus Cyrtoptyx Delucchi,” said P M Sureshan, scientist at the ZSI. He also published an article on the discovery in the latest issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa. Researchers said that the new species was unique in having long slender antennae in both the sexes. In the nature of gaster, forewing venation and in general morphology, the new species resembles Cyrtoptyx latipes, which was discovered earlier in Tamil Nadu. Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis differs from it in the nature of antennae which are long and slender.
The combined length of pedicel plus flagellum in the new species is as long as head width but in Cyrtoptyx latipes, pedicel plus flagellum is slightly shorter than the head width.
The male species (Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis) is metallic greenish-blue in colour whereas the female species is metallic blue. The male species differs from female in having antennae with two anelli and five long funicular segments. The species name Cyrtoptyx wayanadensis is derived after its discovery from the Wayanad district.