Entomologist Discovers New Species of Creepy Giant Wasp With Enormous Jaws

Posted on August 26, 2011

Garuda Giant Wasp


Entomologist Lynn Kimsey discovered a new species of wasp on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The very large wasp - 2.5 inches long - has extra large jaws that are longer than its legs. The huge wasp eats other insects.

Professor Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis has named the wasp Garuda, after the national symbol of Indonesia. Garuda is ta "powerful mythical warrior thatís part human and part eagle, boasts a large wingspan, martial prowess and breakneck speed."

Side View of Garuda New Giant Wasp Species


Professor Kimsey says, "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 donít know how it can walk. The females are smaller but still larger than other members of their subfamily, Larrinae."

Professor Kimsey also says the large jaws probably play a role in defense and reproduction. She says, "In another species in the genus the males hang out in 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's a way of guaranteeing paternity. Additionally, the jaws are big enough to wrap around the female's thorax and hold her during mating."

Front View of Garuda New Giant Wasp Species


Photos: Kathy Keatley Garvey(top photo)/Andrew Richards, Bohart Museum of Entomology (middle and bottom phtos)


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