Lynn Kimsey Featured in National Geographic Magazine
March 27, 2012
Entomologist Lynn Kimsey with giant warrior wasp she discovered in Indonesia. Kimsey is the director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and a professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, is featured in today's edition of National Geographic for the giant "warrior wasp" she discovered in Indonesia.
The news article, titled "Bizarre 'King of Wasps' Found in Indonesia, talks about the warrior wasp she discovered on the Mekongga Mountains in southeastern Sulawesi.
Kimsey plans to name it Garuda, after the national symbol of Indonesia.
The male measures about two-and-a-half-inches long, Kimsey 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. The females are smaller but still larger than other members of their subfamily, Larrinae.”
The large jaws probably play a role in defense and reproduction, she said. "In another species in the genus the males hang out in the nest entrance. This serves to protect the nest from parasites and nest robbing, and for this he exacts payment from the female by mating with her every time she returns to the nest. So it's a way of guaranteeing paternity. Additionally, the jaws are big enough to wrap around the female;s thorax and hold her during mating."
See initial story that appeared on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website on Aug. 19, 2011.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology