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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bizarre "King of Wasps" found in Indonesia...


The jaws of a giant wasp.
A closeup of a male Megalara garuda's enormous jaws.
Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl
A giant wasp.
The newfound wasps are about two inches long. Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl.
Dave Mosher
Published March 27, 2012
A new species of giant, venomous wasp has been found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (map), scientists say.
The two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) black insects are shrouded in mystery—all of the wasp specimens caught so far have been dead.
"I'm not certain any researcher has ever seen one alive, but they are very bizarre-looking," said study co-author Lynn Kimsey, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who co-discovered the insect.
"It's the extreme version of the [larrine wasp] subfamily they belong to."
Larrine wasps typically dig nests for their eggs and larvae in open, sandy areas. The adults grow no longer than an inch (2.5 centimeters)—making the newly discovered Megalara garuda the "king of wasps," according to the study authors.
Wasp Males' Spiky Jaws
Female M. garuda wasps look like most other wasp species, but the males grow long, sickle-shaped jaws.
The males' flattened faces and large, spiked jaws may be clever adaptations to protect a nest that contains vulnerable larvae, she suggested.
"Other wasps of the same species often rob burrows for food, and parasites try to get in there, too," she said. "There's a serious advantage to having the nest guarded. This may be how the male helps guarantee his paternity."
(See "Pictures: Wasps Turn Ladybugs Into Flailing "Zombies.")
In general, "we don't know what this wasp does," Kimsey said. "But it probably feeds its larvae grasshoppers or katydids, like other wasps in its subfamily."

The jaws of a giant wasp.
A closeup of a male Megalara garuda's enormous jaws.
Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl
A giant wasp.
The newfound wasps are about two inches long. Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl.
Dave Mosher
Published March 27, 2012
A new species of giant, venomous wasp has been found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (map), scientists say.
The two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) black insects are shrouded in mystery—all of the wasp specimens caught so far have been dead.
"I'm not certain any researcher has ever seen one alive, but they are very bizarre-looking," said study co-author Lynn Kimsey, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who co-discovered the insect.
"It's the extreme version of the [larrine wasp] subfamily they belong to."
Larrine wasps typically dig nests for their eggs and larvae in open, sandy areas. The adults grow no longer than an inch (2.5 centimeters)—making the newly discovered Megalara garuda the "king of wasps," according to the study authors.
Wasp Males' Spiky Jaws
Female M. garuda wasps look like most other wasp species, but the males grow long, sickle-shaped jaws.
The males' flattened faces and large, spiked jaws may be clever adaptations to protect a nest that contains vulnerable larvae, she suggested.
"Other wasps of the same species often rob burrows for food, and parasites try to get in there, too," she said. "There's a serious advantage to having the nest guarded. This may be how the male helps guarantee his paternity."
(See "Pictures: Wasps Turn Ladybugs Into Flailing "Zombies.")
In general, "we don't know what this wasp does," Kimsey said. "But it probably feeds its larvae grasshoppers or katydids, like other wasps in its subfamily."

The jaws of a giant wasp.
A closeup of a male Megalara garuda's enormous jaws.
Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl
A giant wasp.
The newfound wasps are about two inches long. Image courtesy Lynn Kimsey and Michael Ohl.
Dave Mosher
Published March 27, 2012
A new species of giant, venomous wasp has been found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (map), scientists say.
The two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) black insects are shrouded in mystery—all of the wasp specimens caught so far have been dead.
"I'm not certain any researcher has ever seen one alive, but they are very bizarre-looking," said study co-author Lynn Kimsey, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who co-discovered the insect.
"It's the extreme version of the [larrine wasp] subfamily they belong to."
Larrine wasps typically dig nests for their eggs and larvae in open, sandy areas. The adults grow no longer than an inch (2.5 centimeters)—making the newly discovered Megalara garuda the "king of wasps," according to the study authors.
Wasp Males' Spiky Jaws
Female M. garuda wasps look like most other wasp species, but the males grow long, sickle-shaped jaws.
The males' flattened faces and large, spiked jaws may be clever adaptations to protect a nest that contains vulnerable larvae, she suggested.
"Other wasps of the same species often rob burrows for food, and parasites try to get in there, too," she said. "There's a serious advantage to having the nest guarded. This may be how the male helps guarantee his paternity."
(See "Pictures: Wasps Turn Ladybugs Into Flailing "Zombies.")
In general, "we don't know what this wasp does," Kimsey said. "But it probably feeds its larvae grasshoppers or katydids, like other wasps in its subfamily."
Read more:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120327-new-species-wasps-king-bugs-indonesia-animals-science/



Ecospree 
 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120327-new-species-wasps-king-bugs-indonesia-animals-science/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120327-new-species-wasps-king-bugs-indonesia-animals-science/
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6 Comments:

At January 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous snowbird said...

Good grief, what a TERRIFYING creature, I wouldn't like to have that coming at me!xxxxx

 
At January 27, 2013 at 4:45 PM , Blogger Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

You can sy that again!

 
At January 30, 2013 at 2:41 PM , OpenID marshland said...

You'd need a rolled up Sunday Times including Sunday supplement to whack that one in the conservatory.

 
At January 30, 2013 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous mick said...

You'd need a rolled up Sunday Times including Sunday supplement to whack that one in the conservatory.

 
At January 30, 2013 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

You certainly would. That little monster is two inches long.

 
At July 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM , Anonymous Alvin said...

This is cool!

 

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