Female Idris elba

Feminine wasp of the newly described species Idris elba (holotype specimen). Credit score: Elijah J. Talamas

Whereas a point out of the British film and music star is lacking in its description, the species — named Idris elba — may show to be a Heimdall-like ‘protector’ for a lot of crops.

A parasitic wasp was not too long ago found in Guanajuato, Mexico, the place it was discovered to parasitize the eggs of an invasive stink bug, referred to as the bagrada bug, which is a serious pest of cruciferous greens. A analysis group from Colegio de Postgraduados (Mexico), Agriculture and Agri-Meals Canada (AAFC) and the Florida State Assortment of Arthropods (FSCA) collaborated to publish a examine on the biology this species, Idris elba, and describe it as a species new to science.

The genus Idris was described in 1856 and now accommodates over 300 species and plenty of extra species are nonetheless undescribed. Species of Idris have been beforehand recognized to solely parasitize spider eggs. It was thus very sudden when specimens of Idris have been discovered to emerge from eggs of the bagrada bug by Dr. Refugio Lomeli-Flores and his group in Guanajuato. Superior strategies in molecular forensics have been utilized by Dr. Tara Gariepy (AAFC) to match the DNA of the grownup wasp with DNA left behind in the stink bug egg from which it emerged, independently confirming the outcomes. The specimens have been then despatched to taxonomist, Dr. Elijah Talamas (FSCA), who decided that it was an undescribed species.

Non-Parasitized Vs. Parasitized Bagrada Bug Egg

Non-parasitized (left) in contrast with a parasitized (proper) bagrada bug egg, the place an Idris elba wasp was noticed to emerge. Credit score: Elijah J. Talamas

The invention of this wasp marks an necessary step towards the event of environment friendly and pure management of the stink bug species Bagrada hilaris in North America. Generally referred to as the bagrada bug, it’s native to Africa, however is already a longtime and necessary pest of over 74 plant species in India, southern Europe, southern Asia and the Center East. Throughout the Atlantic, it has been recognized since 2008, when it was reported from Los Angeles, California (USA), adopted by information from Coahuila state, Mexico, in 2014. Three years later, it was additionally discovered in the state of Guanajuato, which is chargeable for over 70% of the nation’s broccoli manufacturing, in addition to the key import of broccoli and cauliflower in the USA and Canada. Thus far, measures to halt the bug’s invasion have confirmed largely ineffective, and its distribution is predicted to succeed in new ecosystems of economical significance.

Whereas not unheard of, it’s unusual for native parasitoids to assault an launched host. Idris elba is phenomenal as a result of it demonstrates that these wasps could make the leap from parasitizing the eggs of spiders to the eggs of stink bugs. Having rejected the chance of the species having been launched alongside its host, the scientists word that the sudden affiliation could possibly be both the consequence of a broad host vary, or a case of fortunate confusion, the place the parasitoid tends to mistake the eggs of the stink bug for these of a spider.

It’s no coincidence that this wasp has the species title “elba.” Dr. Talamas defined that explicitly naming the species after Idris Elba (the actor), often known as a patronym, must observe Latin grammar and grow to be Idris elbai. By treating the second title as an arbitrary mixture of letters, the grammar was prevented.

4-time Golden Globe nominee for Greatest Actor, Idris Elba is a well-known British actor, producer, author, singer, DJ and producer, finest recognized for an extended record of blockbusters, together with a great quantity of superhero films, such because the Marvel sequence impressed by the myths of the Norse god Thor. There, Elba stars as Heimdall, whose virtually namesake: Heimdallr, is a Norse deity believed to be the only protector of the bridge linking the human world and the realm of the gods.


Reference: “Subject research and molecular forensics establish a brand new affiliation: Idris elba Talamas, sp. nov. parasitizes the eggs of Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister)” by J. Refugio Lomeli-Flores, Susana Eva Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Esteban Rodríguez-Levya, Héctor González-Hernández, Tara D. Gariepy and Elijah J. Talamas, 18 November 2019, Journal of Hymenoptera Analysis.
DOI: 10.3897/jhr.73.38025


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