A Potterhead PhD candidate has named a new species of wasp after the Harry Potter character Lucius Malfoy. Thomas E. Saunders published a paper through the University of Auckland in New Zealand, detailing his discovery of a new species of wasp in the Australasian region. Mashable reports he named the stingless wasp Lusius malfoyi.
According to Saunders, the name fits for two reasons. “First, the study of parasitoid wasps can be described as an enjoyable and ‘magical’ experience,” he shared. “Second, the fictional namesake and his family have a sinister reputation in the Harry Potter stories. However, in the end their reputations are salvaged. This parallels the way in which many people view ‘wasps’ in a fearful way, even though only a small proportion of wasp species cause damage or harm.”
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Of course, Saunders is referring to the Malfoy family’s association with the Death Eaters and Voldemort himself. When the Dark Lord returned, Lucius served his master in the Second Wizarding War — at least up until the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when he and his family switched sides in the conflict.
In the end, Saunders hopes a “more nuanced understanding of wasps can be achieved through educating people about their diversity, ecology and behavior.”
This news comes only days after another group of scientists in the Caucasus region of Eurasia named a new species of ground beetle after novelist Neil Gaiman.