Shared Text: The Wasp That Turns Roaches Into Zombies

I kid you not. It’s called the ‘Dementor Wasp.’ Ampulex Dementor

Why? From The Independent (UK):

The Ampulex Dementor, which is known for its ability to turn cockroaches into zombies with one sting, was given its name after visitors to Berlin’s Natural History Museum were asked to vote on what they felt the newly found species’ name should be.

They decided that Ampulex Dementor was an apt title, and for good reason too.

Like the Dementors in the Harry Potter books, who leave their victims in vegetative states after feeding on their souls, the Ampulex Dementor gives birth by first finding a cockroach and then delivering a toxic sting to the insect’s head.

Injecting in the cockroach a deadly dose of neurotoxins, it quickly becomes becomes submissive to the wasp and can be led back to the Ampulex Dementor’s burrow, where the Dementor’s eggs are laid inside the cockroach.

The cockroach then becomes a host for the Ampulex Dementor’s eggs and they feed off its carcass while they mature.

The name Ampulex Dementor won out over four other suggested names and was an exercise by the museum to try and get people to better engage with biodiversity and become excited about the discovery of new species.

When your book’s ancillary characters, a ghoulish species none of whom are known individually or for any period of time, becomes the scientific name of an insect species, a name that will live on well after at least one or two movie re-boots, you’ve reached Shared Text status. Kind of sounds like a curse in the Latin — Ampulex Dementor! Just imagine how that would sting…

Hat tip to Rev Dr David! Links after jump for those wanting to read more.

The Dementor Wasp: New species of insect that can turn cockroaches into zombies named after Harry Potter character

Ampulex dementor • The Soul-Sucking Wasp by Popular Acclaim – Museum Visitor Participation in Biodiversity Discovery and Taxonomy


  1. Here’s another interesting naming:

    Literature…changing naming one species at a time!

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