Pictures: 6 Ridiculously Tiny Creatures
The discovery of a ridiculously tiny species of wasp in Costa Rica might be pushing the limit on just how small an insect can get.
The species, named Tinkerbella nana after Peter Pan’s miniscule assistant, averages 250 micrometers long. That’s 0.01 of an inch—little wider than the diameter of a human hair.
Finding such small insects is no easy task—researcher John Huber of Natural Resources Canada and entomologist John Noyes of the Natural History Museum in London, England, found the fairyflies only by sifting through leaf litter and debris, looking for eggs. Huber and Noyes recently published their find in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research.
Despite its microscopic size, T. nana isn’t the smallest known insect. That particular honor goes to Kikiki huna, a species of fairyfly found on Hawaii. This fly is only half as long as T. nana, and scientists don’t know