The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character.
A research group from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku studies the diversity of parasitoid insects around the world. Parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) are one of the most species rich animal taxa on Earth, but their tropical diversity is still poorly known. In the latest study, the group discovered 15 new, sizeable species that parasitise spiders in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon and the cloud forests of the Andes.
New Information on Tropical Parasitoid Insects Revealed — Investigating the Species Vital for Environmental Protection
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate.
Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland have discovered a new wasp species in the Amazon which has an exceptionally large stinger that surprised even the scientists. The new insect, which is found in the extremely diverse transitional zone between the Andes and the Amazonian lowland rainforest, uses its stinger both for laying eggs and injecting venom.