The unnamed parasitic wasp is actually more elegant than its descriptive name suggests
To mark the opening of the new Darwin Centre, we have teamed up with the Times to offer people the chance to name a new species of parasitic wasp. The Ecuadorian wasp is 6cm long, ignoring the antennae (which is the way our scientists measure insect body length), and the specimens are in the Darwin Centre collections.
Find out more and how to enter the 'name the species of new wasp' competition online. The closing date for entries is 18 October 2009.
The genus name is not up for grabs as we know the wasp belongs to the genus Umanella (there was one previous species described from Costa Rica, Umanella caerulea). Its just the species name that is available.
I don't think I can enter the compeition as it is not open to the staff at the Natural History Museum or the Times (wouldn't be fair to have any of our experts involved, I guess). But if I could, my suggestion would be... Umanella darwincentri.
Before you choose your species name, why not learn a bit about how our Museum experts go about naming species? For non-science bods, taxonomy is the scientific name for identifying and classifiying organisms. A lot of our Museum scientists spend time on taxonomic research.