A new genus of fairyfly has been discovered in Costa Rica. The new species is aptly named Tinkerbella nana after the fairy in J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan is one of the smallest winged insects in the neotropics.
Found in both temperate and tropical climates, the fairyfly is not actually a fly as its name suggests, but instead is more closely related to wasps – being classed within the superfamily Chalcidoidea, or the “chalcid wasps.” There are over 1,400 species of fairyfly, mostly found in the tropical environments of the southern hemisphere.
The five previously unknown varieties were found to be of the Galatheidae family and Lauriea genus. Individuals of the family of Galatheidae are characterized by extremely long setae, which are stiff hair or bristlelike structures, and legs ending in a double spine.