Neuroterus valhalla: New Wasp species .

1February  2022.


The Rice University researchers recently discovered a new wasp species called Neuroterus Valhalla. It is a weird species that spends 11 months of a year locked in a crypt. It is just a millimetre long.

About N.valhalla

  • It was discovered outside a student pub Valhalla.
  •  And thus named after it.
  •  The species was collected from a oak tree in 2018.
  • The scientists are yet to find the male member of the species.
  • The females lay eggs in trees.
  •  It is a cynipid gall wasp.
  •  It uses chemicals to produce crypts or galls around its eggs.
  • Around 1,300 gall wasps are known to human.
  • They are distributed in Europe and North America.
  • The reproduction of gall wasps is partly parthenogenesis.
  • Parthenogenesis is asexual reproduction where growth and reproduction occur without the fertilization of sperm.

About the Crypt

  • The females of the N.valhalla lay a chemical substance along with the eggs.
  •  This chemical substance coax (arrange itself into something) with the tree to form the crypt or gall.
  •  The gall provides shelter to the egg.

Life in the gall

  • The wasp almost spends its entire lifetime in the gall.
  •  After emerging from the gall, the wasp lives only for three or four days.
  •  They mate within these four days, lay eggs.
  • They don’t and do nothing. Their only purpose is reproduction.

About the eggs

  • The N.valhalla wasp lays eggs twice a year.
  •  Also, only alternating generations lay eggs.
  • These wasps lay eggs on flowers. Some trees flower only once a year.
  • In such cases, they lay their eggs on the new stem buds.
  •  When they hatch and come out in the wrong time and if there are no flowers (or suitable places to lay eggs), they just die.


  • So far, these wasps have been found in oak trees.
  • They are spread in the US and in Mexico. Climate change and deforestation is threatening the species.

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