A New Zealand biologist is trying to change the image of wasps by naming it after one of Harry Potter’s arch-enemies.
A University of Auckland researcher, Tom Saunders, decided to name the newly discovered species of non-stinging wasp Lusius malfoyi.
Saunders read his very first Harry Potter book when he was just 10-years-old. That book encouraged the biologist to name the species after Lucius, the father of Draco Malfoy depicted by J.K. Rowling as pure evil.
Saunders hopes by naming the newly discovered insect after a Harry Potter villain it would bring more attention to insects in general.
“I was inspired to name this species in a way that would hopefully spark a larger conversation about the relationship that humans have with the millions of species that share the planet with us.” Tom Saunders
According to National Geographic, there are 30,000 species of wasps currently, most are non-stinging that help to control pest populations. Many wasps do not live in colonies like the one Saunders discovered. Those are called parasitoid wasps.
Some questioned why naming a non-stinging wasp after an evil character might be odd.
“People see wasps as villains, as the ‘bad guys.’ But the truth is that the vast majority of wasp species are either neutral or beneficial, from a human standpoint. Just as Lucius Malfoy is pardoned after separating from Voldemort’s allies, I’m asking people to pardon wasps in order to restore their reputation as interesting, important creatures,” he told CNN.
According to Saunders, there are more species of parasitoid wasps then others animal species combined.
“There are more species of parasitoid wasps than fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals combined.” Tom Saunders