Skip to content

Cryptic species of Ormyrus labotus

Cryptic species of Ormyrus labotus

Some undiscovered species are hiding right under our noses. Ormyrus labotus, a tiny parasitoid wasp known to science since 1843, has long been considered a generalist, laying its eggs in more than 65 different species of other insects. But a new study in Insect Systematics and Diversity suggests wasps currently called Ormyrus labotus are actually at least 16 different species, identical in appearance but genetically distinct, each parasitizing a narrower range of host species. Shown here are wasp specimens collected by researchers at the University of Iowa that all matched the description of Ormyrus labotus. But, by combining genetic analysis with data on the wasps’ physical attributes and ecological factors, the researchers say these wasps all belong to separate species—a finding that underlines the importance of seeking out the world’s “hidden diversity.”(Gallery image by Entomological Society of America; component images by Sofia Sheikh, Anna Ward, and Andrew Forbes, Ph.D., University of Iowa)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to Entomology Today via Email

Enter your email address to receive an alert whenever a new post is published here at Entomology Today.