UK Entomologist Names New Wasp Species Discovered in Asia After Students

May 15, 2017

Credit via UK Ag News, Katie Pratt, UK Agricultural Communications

A University of Kentucky Entomologist has discovered 10 new genera of parasitoid wasps in southwest Asia and named two of them after students.

Mike Sharkey and his teams have spent several years identifying the wasps. Before their research, the wasps were placed under one large genus due to the time and technology required to identify unique characteristics. Sharkey told his Entomology Graduate Seminar class in 2015 that he would name two wasps after students. Graduate student Emily Nadeau won a ‘jeopardy-style, insect trivia contest’ and Sharkey gave her namesake to the wasp “Scabagathis emilynadeauae.” Doctoral student and graduate research assistant Paul Baker had the highest exam score and his wasp is named “Leuroagathis paulbakeri.” The wasps are on display in The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Thailand.