In Thailand, a new species of wasp (Ampulex dementor) was named after the soul-sucking dementors from the Harry Potter books due to its grisly hunting skills.
The wasp’s venom effectively turns its prey into zombies before they are then eaten alive.
“[The dementor wasp] hunts cockroaches, injecting a venom into the mass of neurons on its prey’s belly that turns the roach into a passive zombie,” the WWF report said.
“Wasp venom blocks receptors of the neurotransmitter octopamine, which is involved in the initiation of spontaneous movement.
“With this blocked, the cockroach is still capable of movement, but is unable to direct its own body.
“Once the cockroach has lost control, the wasp drags its stupefied prey by the antennae to a safe shelter to devour it.” …
In neighbouring Vietnam, a stick insect that measures 54 centimetres long was found less than one kilometre from a village in the north of the country.
Two new orchid species were discovered in Bangkok’s famous Chatuchak Market — being traded before they had been scientifically identified.
And a crocodile newt species found in Myanmar is already in demand in the international pet trade, with two of the newts being found in pet stores in Europe.
The list, dominated by plants, includes 23 reptiles, 16 amphibians, nine fish, and one mammal.
The Greater Mekong region consists of Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan.
The region forms part of one of the five most threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, the WWF said.