In­sect ded­i­cated to love

New species named af­ter beloved wife

Gatton Star - - NEWS -

ER­ROL Has­san mar­ried the love of his life, Ur­sula, more than 50 years ago.

Now he has im­mor­talised his wife by nam­ing a new species of wasp he dis­cov­ered af­ter her.

The Univer­sity of Queens­land en­to­mol­o­gist, who has lived in Gat­ton with his fam­ily since 1974, col­lected the par­a­sitic wasp in Cal­i­for­nia’s Mo­jave Desert in 1984 but for­got about it for decades.

“Of course I didn’t know they were a new species,” he said.

The small, metal­li­clook­ing, black­ish-green wasp with cop­per colours on the fur sat in a vial of al­co­hol and glyc­er­ine oil on a shelf in Dr Has­san’s lab un­til late last year when he stum­bled across it dur­ing a clean-up.

“I sent an email to one of the spe­cial­ists that I know on wasps and sent in the whole vial, and two or three weeks later they sent me an email say­ing this is a new species,” Dr Has­san said.

“And I thought to make a sur­prise to my wife be­cause I al­ready have three in­sects named af­ter me.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful lit­tle thing and it is such a fit­ting way to pay trib­ute to some­one who de­serves to be re­mem­bered for time im­memo­rial.”

The dis­cov­ery and nam­ing of Uga ur­su­la­has­sane was pub­lished in the sci­en­tific jour­nal Mu­nis En­to­mol­ogy and Zool­ogy this month, co­in­cid­ing with

Mrs Has­san’s birthday.

The cou­ple mar­ried in Bre­men, Ger­many, in 1966 af­ter meet­ing at a week­end dance in a moun­tain town.

Dr Has­san had just fin­ished his doc­tor­ate and Mrs Has­san was an ac­count­ing stu­dent on hol­i­day.

Af­ter 52 years of mar­riage, and with three daugh­ters and four grand­daugh­ters, Dr Has­san said his wife’s love and sup­port had been incredibly im­por­tant to him.

“Like any mar­riage you have ups and downs through time, but if you have a true love you over­come those prob­lems,” he said.

“So it is for me a great hon­our to name this in­sect for my wife, be­cause once we pass away that in­sect will live for­ever.

“That is why I wanted to im­mor­talise our be­ing to­gether and liv­ing so long to­gether.”

— Tessa Mapstone

It’s a beau­ti­ful lit­tle thing and it is such a fit­ting way to pay trib­ute to some­one who de­serves to be re­mem­bered.

— Er­rol Has­san

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IM­MOR­TALISED: Er­rol Has­san has named a new species of wasp (in­set) af­ter his wife, Ur­sula Has­san.

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