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New species of wasp discovered by college student

A known wasp species Vespula germanica. Image: INQUIRER.net stock photo

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine officials say a new species of wasp has been discovered.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says University of Maine student Hillary Morin Peterson discovered the species while conducting work for her thesis. The department announced the discovery on Thursday.

The Brunswick resident named the wasp Ormocerus dirigoius (or-MOSS-er-us dee-ruh-GO-ee-us), in tribute to Maine’s motto, “Dirigo.” It means “I lead” in Latin.

She discovered a small, non-stinging species of wasp. Peterson found it while doing research about the invasive winter moths that live in Maine. Her work was in collaboration with the Maine Forest Service.

Peterson is now a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, studying entomology. Her discovery of the new species is documented in a paper that appeared last month in the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. AB

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