Dunedin entomologist Anthony Harris inspects a giant crebronid native wasp in his office on Tuesday. Mr Harris has had a newly discovered species of native wasp named after him, taking the number of insects named after him to three. Photo by Tim Miller
Most people are happy to have anything named after them, but
for Dunedin entomologist Anthony Harris that has happened
Mr Harris has now had his name lent to three native insects
after a new species of wasp was named after him, joining a
butterfly and an extremely rare stiletto fly.
Hymenopterist Darren Ward named the wasp Apenesia harrisi
after Mr Harris because of the work he had done in studying
native wasp species.
''It's a form of immortality because the name will live on
long after you have gone,'' Mr Harris said.
Unlike the common and European wasp species which most people
were familiar with, the native species did not live in social
groups and could be difficult to find, Mr Harris said. His
fascination with insects started when he was young and his
life has been dedicated to the study of them.
He has published more than 140 studies on different types of
''The beauty of their form is what attracts me to them ...
When I was young, I was very interested in beetles and their
shape and form - they are quite exquisite,'' he said.
As well as publishing studies, Mr Harris is an honorary
curator of entomology at the Otago Museum and makes hundreds
of identifications of insects found by the public.
''Sometimes people will find rare species without even
knowing about it,'' he said.
People brought them to him and sometimes the insects were a
surprise, Mr Harris said.
- by Tim Miller