Three newly discovered species of parasitoid wasps (Braconidae, Rogadinae) found in Thailand and Papua New Guinea have been formally named.
Parasitoid (also referred to as endoparasitoid) wasps are known to implant their eggs inside of another insect, and, as the parasitic larvae grow, they devour the host from the inside out. There are an estimated 50,000 and 150,000 existing species worldwide which are divided into several subfamilies.
The new insects have been referenced in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research in a paper by Professor Donald L. J. Quicke — research fellow from the Department of Biology at the Imperial College London and the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum in London, England.
Cystomastacoides asotaphaga of Papua New Guinea was named after the Asota in asotaphaga, the genus of moths whose caterpillars are consumed by the wasp’s larva.
Cystomastacoides nicolepeelerae, also of Papua New Guinea, was named after Nicole Peeler, one of Quicke’s favorite novelists. Peeler is an American born author who writes about half-human Jane True, a Tempest series of supernatural, urban fantasy novels.
Cystomastacoides kiddo, found in Thailand, was named after the Beatrix Kiddo (aka The Bride/Black Mamba) character in the Kill Bill films. The lethal physiology of the wasp inspired the befitting appellation.
Beatrix Kiddo, the female protagonist in the Quentin Tarantino directed flicks, portrayed by Uma Thurman, is a deadly assassin hell-bent on revenge. In the two part film series, Kiddo rouses from a coma after several years, essentially left for dead in a church-house bloodbath. Thereafter, Kiddo systematically hunts down a motley crew of fellow former assassins, each cleverly nicknamed after snakes, in order to fulfill a vendetta of killing Bill. She is assailed by blades, cereal, and a chest-full of shotgun propelled rock salt and endures the unnerving experience of being buried alive.
Determined and tenacious, the killing spree inches Kiddo ever closer towards the primary antagonist known as Bill (a.k.a. Snake Charmer).
Additional paper contributors included Buntika Areekul Butcher — Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, M. Alex Smith — Department of Integrative Biology, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, and Jan Hrcek — Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia and Biology Center, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branisovska, Czech Republic.