World’s Largest Bee, Once Feared Extinct, Rediscovered in Indonesia

"Amid such a well-documented global decline in insect diversity, it's wonderful to discover that this iconic species is still hanging on"

Giant-Bee
Clay Bolt/Global Wildlife Conservation via AFP/Getty Images, File

The world’s largest bee, last seen by a scientist in 1981, is not extinct after all, NBC News reported.

A single female was found and documented earlier this year on an Indonesian island, an Australian university and other groups said Thursday.

The bee, Megachile pluto, also known as "Wallace's giant bee" — named after British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who discovered it — was seen in January in Indonesia's North Moluccas island group by an international team of researchers looking for the rare species, the University of Sydney said.

"Amid such a well-documented global decline in insect diversity, it's wonderful to discover that this iconic species is still hanging on," team member Simon Robson, honorary professor of the university’s school of life and environmental sciences, said in a statement released by the educational institution.

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