New Species of Eurytomid Wasps (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) and Their Host Plants (Myrtales: Myrtaceae) from Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monday, March 14, 2016: 10:42 AM
Governor's Room II (Sheraton Raleigh Hotel)
Jessa Thurman , Biology Undergraduate, Hendrix College, Hot Springs, AR
New species of Eurytomid wasps (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) and their host plants (Myrtales: Myrtaceae) from Monteverde, Costa Rica

Jessa Thurman, Hendrix College

Parasitic wasps are known as effective biological control agents for invasive species of insects and plants. Parasitoid wasps of family Eurytomidae have been documented as forming galls on Myrtaceae plants and used previously to control invasive Myrtaceae populations. This paper describes new species of wasps which parasitize plants of family Myrtaceae (e.g., Myrcia spp. and Eugenia spp.) in the Pre-montane forest of the Tilarán Mountains in Costa Rica. Wasps were collected through gall-rearing and a Malaise Insect Trap from the forest floor for four weeks on the University of Georgia’s campus in San Luis. This new documentation of the species diversity in this region applies to insect and plant host relationships to aid in further documentation of the wasps’ ecology and potential use as a biological control agents. This information will be useful to entomologists, botanists, and biocontrol workers for combating invasive plants.