The world's largest bee, which has not been documented by scientists since 1981, has been rediscovered by a team of conservationists and international researchers in a remote part of Indonesia.
The team found the first examples of Megachile Pluto, an insect commonly known as Wallace's giant bee, which is about the human thumb of the archipelago's northern moluccas last month.
On Thursday, they released images and videos of a living and their queen, "19659004]" With such a documented global decline in insect diversity, it is wonderful to discover that this iconic species is still hanging on, "said Simon Robson, a member of team and professor at the University of Sydney.
Despite its apparent size, Wallace's giant bee had not been observed in nature since 1
BREAKING: The disappearance of science since 1981 and believed that some would be eradicated, Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) was rediscovered in Indonesia by an international team of scientists and conservationists. pic.twitter.com/VoDp43LRG2
– Australian Academy of Science (@Science_Academy) February 21, 2019
The message reignit hopes that more of the region's forests can be at home for This very rare species, said the team, which includes researchers from the University of Sydney, Saint Mary's University in Canada and Princeton University in the United States.
The woman's specimen of the bee can reach a length of 3.8 centimeters and have a wing tip of more than six centimeters. Men grow to about 2.3 centimeters.
"It was absolutely amazing to see this" flying bulldog "of an insect we didn't know existed anymore," says Clay Bolt, a natural history photographer who took the first pictures and videos of the giant bees alive.
"To see how beautiful and large the species is in reality, to hear the sound of their giant wings, drumming as it flew past my head, was just incredible," Bolt said. "My dream is to now use this rediscover to raise this bee to a symbol of conservation in this part of Indonesia."
|A photo montage showing a living Wallace's giant bee (right), which is about four times larger than a European honeybee [Clay Bolt/Global Wildlife Conservation/AFP]|
The insect is named after British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who formulated the theory of evolution through natural selection before Charles Darwin's published contributions.
Wallace gathered the species for the first time in 1858 while exploring the Indonesian island of Bacan.
The bee believed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1981 by Adam Messer, an American entomologist, who found six nests on the island of Bacan and two other nearby islands. It wasn't seen again since.
Eli Wyman, a researcher from Princeton University, said that Messer's find had given some insight, "but we still don't know anything about this extraordinary insect."
"I hope this rediscovery will spark research that will give us a deeper understanding of this unique bee and inform any future efforts to protect it from extinction," Wyman said.
Global Wildlife Conservation, a Texas-based nonprofit organization seeking a lost art program, puts Wallace's giant bee on the list of "the 25 most wanted lost species".
Scientists said the forest destruction in Indonesia would be used for agriculture, threatening the habitat of this species and many others.
Between 2001 and 2017 Indonesia lost 15 percent of its tree protection, according to Global Forest Watch.
Al Jazeera and news agencies