This giant digger wasp was discovered in 2011 on the island of Sulawesi, as well as in a 30-year old collection of specimens from Sulawesi in a Berlin museum. It was formally described in 2012. Though the ecology and behavior of this new species is not yet known, females in other species in its family paralyze prey and bring it to their young. Male M. garuda are larger than females and have very large jaws, possibly to hold females during copulation. The new species is distinctive enough to be placed in a new genus, Megalara, meaning "large wasp." The specific name "garuda" refers to a part-human and part-eagle creature from Hindu mythology known as the King of Birds, which is also the national symbol of Indonesia.
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