UC Davis Entomologist Lynn Kimsey Discovers New Species of Wasp: Gigantic Wasp With Long, Powerful Jaws
DAVIS–A warrior wasp? A wasp with jaws longer than its front legs?
The new species of wasp that Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, discovered on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, has scientists abuzz.
The jaw-dropping, shiny black wasp appears to be the “Komodo dragon” of the wasp family.
It’s huge. The male measures about two-and-a-half-inches long, Kimsey said. “Its jaws are so large that they wrap up either side of the head when closed. When the jaws are open they are actually longer than the male’s front legs. I don’t know how it can walk. The females are smaller but still larger than other members of their subfamily, Larrinae.”
Kimsey discovered the warrior wasp on the Mekongga Mountains in southeastern Sulawesi on a recent biodiversity expedition funded by a five-year grant from the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group Program.