Named after the Harry Potter soul-sucking, death-bringing, mythical entities, the “Dementor Wasps” live up to their names by also taking inspiration from The Resident Evil movie franchise.
Scientists have recently named one of the 139 newly discovered species in the Greater Mekong area of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam in 2007. What did they name it you may ask? They named the Ampulex Dementor, or Dementor Wasp.
Found in Thailand, the nightmarish creature does nothing more than simply infuse venom into the stomach of a cockroach it intends to eat. The venom then makes its way into the neurons of the cockroach, efficiently turning him into a mindless, passive, obedient zombie.
This allows the wasp to “store” the bug for later, in case its not hungry at the time the opportunity presents itself, to move it to a safer place before it start dining, or to bring it home for its larvae to feast on.
The report published by World Wildlife Fund states that “Cockroach wasp venom blocks receptors of the neurotransmitter octopamine, which is involved in the initiation of spontaneous movement. With this blocked, the cockroach is still capable of movement, but is unable to direct its own body”.
The report then adds that once the creepy crawler has lost all control over its own body, the wasp can grab its “stupefied prey” by its antennae and comfortably drag it to a “safe shelter to devour it”. The Umbrella Corporation would be proud.
Dementor Wasp was only named last year, with its given name being the most popular among the visitors of the Museum für Naturkunde, in Berlin.
A poll revealed they liked the name due to the close resemblance that the wasp has to the dementors in the Harry Potter universe. It’s not that they share the same facial features or color patterns, but that their flying styles are pretty much identical.
Experts were very happy about involving the public the naming process, saying that providing people with the chance to help name such a bizarre and fascinating newly discovered species, does wonders when it comes to creating public awareness for an abundance of environmental issues.
Michael Ohl is one of the Museum für Naturkunde researchers who coordinated the naming process and who introduced the species to the masses along with four other colleagues – g Lukas Kirschey, Volker Lohrmann, Laura Breitkreuz, and Stefanie Krause.
He (Ohl) believes that only good things come from such events, as they make people curios about global fauna and flora.
He may just be right as, thanks to its name, the Dementor Wasp has become a real hit on the internet after J.K. Rowling himself (Harry Potter’s author) retweeted a photo of the soul-sucking wasp earlier this week. Ah, the power of branding!
Image Source: amazonaws.com