In the 19th century, a bee species by the name of Megachile Pluto was discovered by Alfred Russell Wallace on the island of Bacan in Indonesia. What Alfred found was one of the most unique bee species ever recorded. The Megachile Pluto, otherwise known as Wallace’s Giant Bee was the biggest bee to ever exist.
As a century has gone by, we haven’t heard much from the giant bee and many biologists believed it to have gone extinct. Very recently, a team of people taking part on the Global Wildlife Conservation’s Search for Lost Species programme has made a discovery, generating a renewed buzz in Wallace’s giant bee.
The bee was discovered 6 feet off the ground in a termite’s nest and it grows to be almost 4cm in length with a wing span of over 6cm! It also has an eye-catching mandible lower jaw akin to a beetle’s! Yikes!
Although this is the first time since the ‘80s that the giant bee has been sighted, its future remains dubious. Deforestation on Indonesian islands is considered to be a major risk to the species as their habitats are destroyed. Their incredible proportions can also attract the wrong kind of attention, with insect collectors trading them for hefty lump sumps over the internet in the thousands of pounds.
The case of the Megachile Pluto is a fantastic area of study for Biologists. For Geographers, you may want to dive into the environmental conservatism side of this story for a captivating personal statement.
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