The journal Zootaxa publishes today an important paper on the microgastrine wasps of the African Reunion Island, in the vicinity of Madagascar. It covers 34 species, 18 of them described as new; as well as the description of a new genus: Dodogaster Rousse, 2013. [The link provided just gives access to the title, abstract and key words, anyone interested in a full copy should contact the authors, because the paper is not open access].
This is the first comprehensive paper dealing with Afrotropical species in almost 50 years, and we can only hope it will be followed by similar works in the near future. As far as I know, there are two other projects underway related to Africa (Arabian Peninsula and Madagascar) which should have papers ready for submitting relatively soon. I plan to cover those efforts in future posts. Nevertheless, much remains to be done yet.
The authors of the paper on the Reunion Island fauna are Pascal Rousse (currently a post-doctoral associate with Simon van Noort in the Iziko Museums, Cape Town, South Africa) and Ankita Gupta (a scientist with the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Division of Insect Systematics, in Bangalore, India). Both are talented researchers working with Microgastrinae -among other groups- for the past few years.
Dodogaster, the new genus, is a distinctive one, and it remains to be seen if it is also found elsewhere outside Reunion. We just need to keep working on this amazing group of wasps because there are so many species still awaiting for discovery... Sincere congratulations to the authors!