Museum Visitors Name New Species Of Wasp

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

A newly-discovered species of Thai wasp will be called Ampulex Dementor after the soul-sucking Dementors in Harry Potter. The name was chosen after voting at Berlin's Natural History Museum.


We next report on a newly discovered species of wasp. It now has an official name. The name is Ampulex Dementor. The wasps are named after the soul-sucking Dementor characters from the Harry Potter books, which is an appropriate choice.

Like the Dementors, these wasps are able to control their prey - in this case, cockroaches; not witches or wizards. The wasps do their tricks by injecting a toxin. A cockroach then becomes submissive, and follows the wasp to its burrow to be eaten.

Just for the record, Harry Potter, in his battle with Dementors, came out a little better.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.