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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Warrior Wasp The fearsome flying beast discovered in the jungle with jaws longer than its front legs - 25th Aug 2011

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares - a wasp that supplements a vicious sting with jaws longer than its front legs.

But this is a very real newly discovered warrior wasp found on the remote Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Dubbed the 'Komodo dragon' of the wasp family, the males of the species measure two-and-a-half inches long.

Entomologist Lynn Kimsey of the University of California, Davis, encountered the wasps during a recent expedition to the island.

The UC Davis Department of Entomology said they picked the name warrior wasp because of its huge ninja-like mandibles.

Ms Kimsey, who is also director at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, said: '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 don't know how it can walk.'

Luckily the species prefers to dine on insects, but if threatened it could leave a sizeable mark on human flesh too. Read More