Friday, 13 October 2017

Lusius malfoyi wasp: New Zealand insect named after Harry Potter villain

Entomologist names parasitoid wasp after ‘redeemed’ character Lucius Malfoy in hope of showing not all wasps are bad

Tuesday 10 October 2017 05.55 BST

A Harry Potter fan turned entomologist has named a wasp after a redeemed villain in the series in the hope of drawing attention to the much maligned insect.

Tom Saunders named and described a New Zealand parasitoid wasp as part of his masters study at Auckland University.

The wasp, which he named Lusius malfoyi, is one of 3000 wasps endemic to New Zealand, none of which sting or cause any problems to humans.

“The dominant narrative is wasps are bad and they sting people and they are awful,” said Saunders.

“But if you look at the diversity of wasps around the world you’ll find only a tiny fraction, less than 1% are pests and problems. And the vast majority of them play a fairly critical roles in the ecosystems they live in.”

The wasp Lusius malfoyi was named after the fictional character Lucius Malfoy, who is the father of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.

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