A new species of wasp has been discovered in Indonesia. University of California Researchers discovered the new wasp during a scientific expedition in the Mekongga Mountains in southeastern Sulawesi, Indonesia. The wasp is two-and-a-half-inches long and has a huge jaw. The weirdest thing about the wasp is its jaw is actually larger than its legs.
The new species of wasp belongs to the genus Dalara and family Crabronidae. The researchers have named the species Garuda, after the national symbol of Indonesia.
Researchers believe that the large jaws could probably play a major role in defence and reproduction. They found that in another species in the genus the males hang out at the nest entrance. This serves to protect the nest from parasites and nest robbing and for this he exacts payment from the female by mating with her every time she returns to the nest. So it is a way of guaranteeing paternity, researchers says. Additionally, the jaws are big enough to wrap around the female's thorax and hold her during mating.
Sulawesi, a large Indonesian island located between Borneo and New Guinea, is known not only for its endemic biodiversity, but also its rainforest and its proximity (three degrees) to the equator.
"The first time I saw the wasp I knew it was something really unusual," said Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis. "I'm very familiar with members of the wasp family Crabronidae that it belongs to but had never seen anything like this species of Dalara. We don't know anything about the biology of these wasps. They are only known from southwestern Sulawesi."
"There are so many rare and endangered species on Sulawesi that the world may never see," she added.
Here are some pictures of the killer wasp: