News

The world’s largest bee with giant jaws rediscovered in the wild

connectVideoWorld’s largest bee with giant jaws rediscovered in the wild

In January, scientists finally spotted in a rare bee, which was last seen by researchers in 1981 and previously feared to be extinct. Wallace’s Giant Bee (species Megachile pluto) is an Indonesian species with a 2.5-inch wingspan and the huge jaws. A lonely woman bee was finally seen in the Indonesian province of North Maluku in the Maluku islands, after the researchers examined the region for five days.

You would think that the world’s largest would be difficult to lose. But Wallace’s Giant Bee — an Indonesian species with a 2.5-inch (6.4 cm) wingspan and the huge jaws, was last seen by researchers in 1981, it was feared extinct.

However, scientists finally spotted the rare bees in January, in the Indonesian province of North Maluku in the Maluku islands. They discovered a solitary female bees after researching the region for five days, and a photographer the first-ever images of a living Wallace’s Giant Bee (Megachile pluto) at the insect’s nest in an active termite hill.

“It was absolutely breathtaking to see this ‘flying bulldog’ of an insect, that we weren’t sure existed anymore,” photographer Clay Bolt, that the pictures of the giant, said in a statement, published by The University of Sydney in Australia. [Photos: Bee Eyes and Meat-Eating Plants Light Micro-photo contest]

There is little known about these elusive insects’ habits. The bees’ dark-coloured bodies measuring about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) in length — about as long as a human thumb and they build communal nests in termite dwellings in the trees, Adam Messer, a researcher who was with the Entomology Department of the University of Georgia in 1984, wrote in a study published in the Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society.

More From LiveScience

  • In Pictures: Bee Eyes and Meat-Eating Plants Light Micro-photography contest
  • Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
  • On the Hunt: Honeybee Scouts Find Food
  • Here is What Wasp Faces Look Like Close-Up

Messer was the last scientist to document the supersize bees in the wild — until now.

“Messer’s rediscovery gave us some insight, but we still know nothing about the mantis,” Eli Wyman, an entomologist at the university of Princeton University and one of the researchers who rediscovered the lost, said in the statement. The discovery could help researchers learn more about the elusive bee, Wyman added.

  • On the Hunt: Honeybee Scouts Find Food
  • Here is What Wasp Faces Look Like Close-Up
  • Photos: Amazing Insects of the North American Deserts

Originally published on Live Science.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular