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Wallace’s Giant Bee

scientific name: Megachile pluto

Last seen: 1981 in Indonesia 

Years lost: 38

Wallace’s Giant Bee, with an estimated maximum wingspan of two and a half inches, is the largest bee on Earth. It was believed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1981 by American researcher Adam C. Messer, who found six nests on the island of Bacan and other nearby islands. It hasn’t been seen since. A 1984 paper touched on the life history of the bee, which exhibits uncommon communal behavior, and rediscovery offers the possibility of greater insight into the life of this fascinating creature. The species was originally collected by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859.

UPDATE (2.21.19): Wallace’s Giant Bee is the second of the Search for Lost Species' top 25 "most wanted" species to be found.