Horrible Wasps Named After Horrible Harry Potter Demons

May 7, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

A new species of wasp discovered in Thailand in 2008 were finally given a name: Ampulex dementor, a tribute to J.K. Rowling’s Dementors, the most depressing monsters of all time.

The wasps have been called “soul sucking,” as their preferred method of reproduction involves stinging a cockroach to place it in a “docile” state while implanting its eggs. When the eggs hatch, they eat the useless cockroach from the inside, much like that scene in Harry Potter when Dementors almost eat Harry’s soul, only that is a terrible comparison, because Harry Potter is a kids book about imaginary spooky things, whereas this is a horrifyingly real wasp whose horrifying babies really eat their host alive. Expecto patronum!

Berlin’s Natural History Museum expected this cute allusion to boost visitor interest in insects. We’re now very interested in staying the hell away from there. (Photo: B. Schurian, MfN.)