Wednesday, October 11, 2017

[Entomology • 2017] Lusius malfoyi • A New Species of Lusius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from New Zealand

Lusius malfoyi
 Saunders & Ward, 2017

Lusius malfoyi n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) is described. It is an endemic New Zealand species and the first species of the genus to be described from the Australasian region.

KEYWORDS: Biodiversity, conservation, species description, taxonomy

Figure 1. Lateral habitus. Scale bar = 2 mm.

Lusius malfoyi Saunders and Ward, sp. nov.

Etymology. Noun in the genitive case. This species is named after Lucius Malfoy, a character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, for two reasons. First, the study of parasitoid wasps can be described as an enjoyable and ‘magical’ experience. Second, the fictional namesake and his family have a sinister reputation in the Harry Potter stories. However, in the end their reputations are salvaged. This parallels the way in which many people view ‘wasps’ in a fearful way, even though only a small proportion of wasp species cause damage or harm. We hope that a more nuanced understanding of wasps can be achieved through educating people about their diversity, ecology and behaviour. 

Distribution. Lusius malfoyi is widespread on the New Zealand mainland (North Island and South Island) but has not been collected from offshore islands. 

Figure 2. Dorsal head and mesoscutum. Scale bar = 2 mm.

Figure 3. Lateral mesosoma. Scale bar = 0.5 mm.

Thomas E. Saunders and Darren F. Ward. 2017. A New Species of Lusius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist. DOI: 10.1080/00779962.2017.1357427

Lusius malfoyi wasp: New Zealand insect named after Harry Potter villain
Wasp named after Harry Potter villain @CNNI


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