A female Ampulex dementor found by scientists in 2014. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Bernard Schurian
A total of 139 weird and wonderful new plant and animal species have been discovered in South East Asia.
Found by researchers during visits to the Greater Mekong region last year, the selection of new species includes a new type of bat, 90 new plants, 23 new reptiles and 16 new amphibians.
One of the most notable discoveries was that of a new wasp, Ampulex dementor
, which was named after the "dementors" from the Harry Potter books. Like its soul-sucking namesake which leaves its victims unable to move, the wasp paralyzes its prey with potent venom before eating it alive.
Other new species found in the Greater Mekong include a color-changing thorny frog, four moths named after Thai princesses and a huge stick insect measuring over half a meter long.
A new type of gecko, which was found a few hundred meters from a cornfield, has earned the impressive distinction of becoming the 10,000th species of reptile known to science.
"The Greater Mekong’s unique ecosystems are truly the gift that keeps on giving, providing sanctuary for a treasure trove of species and critical benefits for millions of people across the region," said WWF conservation director Teak Seng.
"As Magical Mekong reveals, the scientists behind these discoveries feel they are racing against the clock to document them and strongly advocate for their protection before they disappear."
Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)
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