Scientists name newly discovered parasitic wasp after COVID-19

Researchers found this speices of parasitic Darwin wasp throughout quarantine and named it Stethantyx covida.

Andrey I. Khalaim

The naming of latest species offers scientists a chance to honor folks (Neopalpa donaldtrumpi); fictional characters (Harryplax severus); and even social media platforms (Troglomyces twitteri). A newly found species of parasitoid wasp bears a nod to a world pandemic.

Scientists Andrey Khalaim and Enrique Ruíz Cancino with the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT) in Mexico printed descriptions of five new species of Darwin wasps in the journal ZooKeys on Wednesday. Amongst them is the tiny “Stethantyx covida” wasp, which the researchers investigated throughout the 2020 coronavirus pandemic

The “covida” a part of the wasp’s identify is a reference to the illness COVID-19, which has been accountable for over one million deaths worldwide. 

“We thought it was a good suggestion to recollect this extraordinary yr by the identify of 1 exceptional species of Darwin wasp present in seven Mexican states (together with Tamaulipas, the place the UAT campus is situated) and likewise Guatemala,” the researchers said in a statement from journal publisher Pensoft on Thursday.

Darwin wasps are parasitoid bugs that often lay eggs in or on a number like a butterfly larva or spider eggs, or perhaps a residing spider.

The Darwin wasp household is formally referred to as Ichneumonidae, nevertheless it turned related to naturalist Charles Darwin by a letter he wrote to botanist Asa Gray in 1860

“I can’t persuade myself {that a} beneficent and all-powerful God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the specific intention of their feeding throughout the residing our bodies of caterpillars, or {that a} cat ought to play with mice,” Darwin stated.

The identify of the brand new species suits in with this sentiment. It is a laborious and generally merciless world on the market.

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Amanda Kooser