Giant wasp 'discovered in Berlin museum'

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23 Mar, 2012 Updated Fri 23 Mar 2012 17:56 CEST
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American scientists who found a new species of giant wasp in the jungle of Indonesia reported their find – only to discover a specimen had been sitting in a German museum for more than 70 years.

The University of Californian team soon got over their disappointment though, to work with Michael Ohl from Berlin’s Natural History Museum to classify their monstrous find.

The whopper which at six centimetres is five times as big as normal wasps, officially got a name on Friday – Megalara garuda.

Ohl had been examining his specimen since last year, when he found it in a neglected display case in a corner of the museum. It had been there since 1930.

Until now he and the American team led by Lynn Kimsey have referred to it simply as the monster wasp.

The scientific journal Zookeys announced on Friday that the species now bears the name “Megalara garuda.”

‘Mega’, comes from Greek for big and ‘lara’ is taken from Dalara – the name of another similar, but smaller, species of wasp.

The ‘Garuda’ is the national symbol of Indonesia – a mythical winged creature, which in some circles in Indonesia can be used to represent violent force, or power.

DPA/The Local/jcw



2012/03/23 17:56

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