New Zealand Parasitoid Wasp Named After Draco Malfoy

Posted on October 10, 2017

A new parasitoid wasp species has been discovered in New Zealand. The wasp was named after Draco Malfoy, a character in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It was named Lusius malfoyi by University of Auckland doctoral student Tom Saunders.

Saunders says in the announcement, "I used the name Lusius malfoyi because Malfoy is a character in the books with a bad reputation who is ultimately redeemed and I'm trying to redeem the reputation of our native wasps."

Saunders also says the wasps are used to control pests and could ultimately be used to control the brown marmorated stink bug. He is worried about parasitoid wasp species being lost before they are even named.

He says, "The big problem is lack of data, we do not know what species we have, how many there might be or what their host species are, so they can’t be included in conservation planning. Much of my work in capturing them for my research was at the edge of the Waitakere Ranges so they can be found even in people’s backyards but most people don’t know anything about them. If we don’t put more resources into their taxonomy, we could be in danger of losing wasp species without even knowing it."

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