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Biologists discover new species of wasp

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Its name sounds legendary, but the newly discovered insect Neuroterus (noo-ROH'-teh-rus) valhalla doesn't look or act the part. It's barely a millimeter long and spends 11 months of the year locked in a crypt.

N. valhalla does have the noteworthy distinction of being the first insect species to be described alongside its fully sequenced genome, and the Rice University researchers who discovered it are preparing to see how the tiny, nonstinging wasps may have been impacted by Houston's historic February 2021 freeze.

N. valhalla is described in a paper published this month in Systematic Entomology. Its name is an homage to where it was discovered: just outside the Rice graduate student pub Valhalla.



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