A new species from the Tea Fauna project!

Introducing Drepanoctonus rimdahli! A new species of wasp named after our founder Kenneth Rimdahl!

The species was found and described by Alexey Reshchikov among our tea plants through the Tea Fauna Project, and named after Kenneth for his work in fighting to protect forests and biodiversity in Northern Thailand.

We asked Alexey a few questions about the discovery: 

Tell us a little bit how you found this new species?

"This find is actually from the very first trap I set up with Kenneth, the first locality of the Tea Fauna project. After collecting the specimens, it takes some time to sort through them, and then we put them in a collection. About a year ago I came across a genus that seemed conspicuous and told a colleague about it. We found that this was a new species and decided to describe it, but before we could know 100% that this was new we sequenced the DNA and then got the answer we hoped for!"

Why did you decide to name it rimdahli?

"I felt like I should. Kenneth is putting quite a lot of effort, not only for the Tea Fauna, but for saving the environment and doing what he’s doing. To help local communities, to save the Thai forests and Asian nature. These activities are very close to my vision as to what is necessary to do. This species is one of the first results of Tea Fauna, this is where the project started with Kenneth and it’s a good idea to name it like this."

What is the future for the Tea Fauna project?

"Now I’m advertising the project and I want to spread the word broadly, first to people around me, and then friends of friends and so forth. I want biologists to learn more about the tea fauna and invite collaborators to create more ideas together. Hopefully the rest of the public and world will come to learn more about the tea fauna and the importance of biodiversity."

Thank you Alexey for answering the questions and let’s move on towards new discoveries together! 💚🌳