The Greater Mekong is considered one of the most endangered biodiversity locations in the world.
But it’s also a hotspot where some of the most interesting new species of animals have been discovered in the past decade.
One of the most recently discovered species in the Greater Mekong is a wasp scientifically called Ampulex dementor.
This species of was paralyses its prey before devouring it alive.
The wasp injects the venom in the prey’s abdomen thus blocking the receptors of the neurotransmitter that allows the prey to move.
Basically, the prey, in this case, a cockroach is turned into a zombie by the wasp and cannot move its body in order to escape the predator.
The recently discovered wasp was named after one of the characters in the popular Harry Potter books.
The Ampulex dementor wasp is one of the 139 species of animals that have been recently discovered in the Greater Mekong region in 2014.
Other impressive new species found recently include one of the longest insects in the world, a small bat with huge fangs and a special frog that can change its colors, turning from yellow to brown in day time and from pink to yellow at night.
However, the researchers are hurrying to document these newly found species, including over 90 species of plants, 23 reptiles, nine fish, 16 amphibians and one mammal.
The researchers are worried that the species are endangered and might disappear completely.
Darren Grover, one of the biologists who made the discoveries, explained that it’s amazing that new species are discovered every day.
Grover added that unfortunately most of these species that live in these regions are threatened by different factors such as the construction of large dams, roads and similar infrastructure.
This means that some of the undiscovered species may disappear before anyone finds them.
Grover fears that if these projects are being made, the species will disappear suddenly.
He explains that the dam projects are massive and would flood the surrounding area, killing every living animal in the regions.
The biologists wonder how many species died before they were even discovered.
According to the researchers, more than 2,200 new species were discovered in the Greater Mekong between 1997 and 2014.
Another new species discovered recently is the Thai Princess moth. The insect was named after Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand who helped fund the expedition.
Image Source: lifescience