Animals are dying off at a pretty alarming rate, with some studies suggesting the world is entering a sixth major extinction event. But now, in a rare piece of good news from that field, researchers from Australia, Canada and the US have rediscovered Wallace’s giant bee, an insect that hasn’t been seen in almost 40 years.
Wallace’s giant bee, or Megachile pluto, is the largest known bee species in the world, measuring up to 3.8 cm (1.5 in) long and sporting a wingspan of 6.4 cm (2.6 in). That’s roughly four times the size of a European honeybee, and if that’s not impressive enough it brandishes a pair of huge mandibles like a stag beetle.
Despite being big enough to piggyback other bees by the dozen, Wallace’s giant bee has a long history of hiding from human detection. After it was originally discovered in 1858, the bug vanished for well over a century, not being sighted again until 1981. And until now that was the last time it was seen, earning it a spot in the Global Wildlife Conservation’s Search for Lost Species program.