If you are familiar with the Harry Potter series, you probably remember the dementors: dark, ghost-like beings that suck every positive feeling away leaving nothing but an empty shell. These awful creatures have now made the transition from fantasy to scientific literature, as they are now the namesake of a newly discovered species of cockroach wasp. The name Ampulex dementor was chosen through public voting and has been described by Stefanie Krause and her team at the Natural History Museum in Berlin.
The diversity of life is one of the most striking aspects of our planet; hence knowing how many species inhabit Earth is among the most fundamental questions in science. Yet the answer to this question remains enigmatic, as efforts to sample the world's biodiversity to date have been limited and thus have precluded direct quantification of global species richness, and because indirect estimates rely on assumptions that have proven highly controversial.