Named as ‘Soliga ecarinata’ after the indigenous community
Chamarajanagar: A new genus of wasp from the forests of Biligiri Rangana Betta (B.R. Hills) in Chamarajanagar district has been discovered by entomologists of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
The newly discovered wasp has been named ‘Soliga ecarinata’ after the indigenous community of B.R. Hills and Male Mahadeshwara Hills in Chamarajanagar.
Dr. A.P. Ranjith and Dr. Priyadarshan Dharma Rajan, who discovered the new wasp genus, said that the initial work was done as part of the Western Ghats Insect Inventory Programme by ATREE and specimens were collected 15 years ago.
More specimens of the species were collected during a recent expedition to Nagaland, they added.
The wasp belongs to the sub-family Metopiinae of the Darwin wasps family Ichneumonidae. The species’ name ‘ecarinata’ denotes the absence of ridges in some of its body regions. The entomologists described the insect as “strikingly colourful and distinct from all its relatives.”
Priyadarshan said that the naming of the wasp is in acknowledgment of the Soligas’ sustainability practices carried over generations and the community’s efforts in conserving the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary.