New Delhi: Not kidding, but a newly discovered wasp species in South Africa has been named after Hollywood actor Brad Pitt!
The new wasp species, called Conobregma bradpitti, belongs to a large worldwide group of wasps parasitising in moth or butterfly caterpillars.
It is said that while thinking of a name for the new wasp, Dr Buntika A Butcher, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, recalled her long hours of studying in her laboratory right under the poster of her favourite film actor. This is how the new wasp was named after Brad Pitt.
The dark brown, 2mm-long wasp, which is also parasitic, has a brownish-yellow head, antennae and legs.
Its body is deep brown, nearly black in colour, while its head, antennae and legs are brown-yellow. The wings stand out with their much brighter shades.
In their paper, the authors from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and the University of Calicut, India, also describe another new species of parasitic wasp. It is the first from its subtribe spotted in the whole of India, while its closest 'relative' lives in Nepal.
Interestingly, the wasp with celebrity name unites two, until now, doubtful genera. Being very similar, they had already been noted to have only four diagnostic features that set them apart. However, C bradpitti shared two of those with each. Thus, the species prompted the solution of the taxonomic problem and, as a result, the two were synonymised.
The research has been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
(With PTI inputs)