Canadian Forest Service Publications

A new genus and species of fairyfly, Tinkerbella nana (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae), with comments on its sister genus Kikiki, and discussion on small size limits in arthropods. 2013. Huber, J.T.; Noyes, J.S. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 32:17-44.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34750

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3897/JHR.32.4663

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A new genus and species of fairyfly, Tinkerbella nana (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) gen. n. and sp. n., is described from Costa Rica. It is compared with the related genus Kikiki Huber and Beardsley from the Hawaiian Islands, Costa Rica and Trinidad. A specimen of Kikiki huna Huber measured 158 μm long, thus holding the record for the smallest winged insect. The smallest size possible, as measured by body length, for flying insects and wingless arthropods is discussed.

Plain Language Summary

The purpose of this paper is to describe a new genus and species of parasitic wasp. It is compared with another genus and species described previously from the Hawaiian Islands, but now also found for the first time in Central America and Trinidad. Both species are among the smallest winged insects known, at 160–250 micrometers in body length (2 or 3 three of them would occupy the diameter of a period at the end of a printed page). The smallest size possible for insects and other arthropods is discussed. The scientific impact is to add scientific knowledge about a group of parasitic wasps whose members are abundant worldwide but are generally poorly studied because of their small size. They are all parasites in the eggs of other insects. Some species have been used successfully in biological control programmes against pests in forestry and agriculture