Bizarre "King of Wasps" Found in Indonesia

Dave Mosher
for National Geographic News
Published March 27, 2012

A new species of giant, venomous wasp has been found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, scientists say.

The two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) black insects are shrouded in mystery--all of the wasp specimens caught so far have been dead.

"I'm not certain any researcher has ever seen one alive, but they are very bizarre-looking," said study co-author Lynn Kimsey, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who co-discovered the insect.

"It's the extreme version of the [larrine wasp] subfamily they belong to."