Newfound bugs have strange body proportions

g-shengiFour species of parasitoid wasps have been discovered in northwest China, a new study reports.

The new species belong to the genus Gasteruption. These wasps have slender bodies and inflated, club-shaped hind legs. They also have elongated necks, and keep their abdomens raised and hind legs dangling during their slow, quiet flights. Their heads have a satin-like sheen and long eyes that extend almost to their mouth, the researchers said.

The four new species — G. bicoloratum, G. huangshii, G. pannuceum andG. shengi — have a body covering that resembles black leather with grooves and stitches. The bugs range in size from 0.3 inches (8 millimeters) long to 0.5 inches (13 mm) long, and females are typically larger than males.

The newfound species are parasitoid wasps whose larvae are parasites that kill their hosts. Adults hover outside the nests of solitary bees. While females hover to find an opportunity to sneak their own eggs into solitary bee nests, males typically linger in search of these females.

Read more about the new bugs over at Live Science.

Photo credit: Jiang-Li Tan

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