Scientists discover ‘ghostly’ ant species resembling Harry Potter villain Voldemort. Guess its name | Trending - Hindustan Times
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Scientists discover ‘ghostly’ ant species resembling Harry Potter villain Voldemort. Guess its name

ByTrisha Sengupta
Apr 17, 2024 03:49 PM IST

Dr Mark Wong, one of the scientists who discovered this new ant species, described it as “ghostly and slender” with sharp jaws.

A newly discovered ant species took scientists by surprise because of its resemblance to the fictional villain of the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort. A “fearsome predator”, this species loves living in the shadows. Can you guess the name of this elusive species discovered in the Pilbara region of northwestern Australia? It is Leptanilla voldemort.

Scientists say this newly discovered ant species “live exclusively underground and are fearsome predators”. (X/@MarkKLWong, screengrab)
Scientists say this newly discovered ant species “live exclusively underground and are fearsome predators”. (X/@MarkKLWong, screengrab)

Dr Mark Wong of the University of Western Australia and Jane McRae of Bennelongia Environmental Consultants are the scientists who published a paper about this new species in the open access journal ZooKeys.

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Dr Wong also took to X to share a series of images of the ant species. “Introducing Leptanilla voldemort, a newly discovered ghostly and slender ant species with sharp jaws. Like the Dark Lord, L. voldemort ants thrive in the shadows. They live exclusively underground and are fearsome predators,” he wrote.

Why the name Leptanilla voldemort?

In the published paper, the scientists also described the reason behind the moniker Leptanilla voldemort. “The species epithet pays tribute to the antagonist in the Harry Potter book series, Lord Voldemort, a terrifying wizard who, like the new ant, is slender, pale, and thrives in darkness. The species epithet is a noun, and thus invariant,” reads an excerpt from the paper.

Take a look at the pictures of the ant species here:

Since being shared a few days ago, the post has accumulated more than 6,000 views. The share has further collected nearly 200 likes. People posted varied comments while reacting to the share.

What did X users say about Leptanilla voldemort?

“Amazing discovery, Mark, what an oddity!” wrote an X user.

“What an amazing ant species! Congratulations, Mark!” added another.

“So slender. I'd guess it must live in dense clayey soil and need that to make its way through,” joined a third.

Also Read: Two new earthworm species discovered in Odisha's Koraput

“Cool new description, Mark! There's got to be heaps of subterranean ants to discover in Australia,” expressed a fourth.

“This is so cool!” commented a fifth.

What are your thoughts on this newly discovered ant species Leptanilla voldemort?

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Trisha Sengupta is a journalist at Hindustan Times, adept at crafting compelling narratives spanning human interest, trending topics, science, viral news, and social media trends.

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