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A color-changing frog, a "dementor" wasp and the world's second-longest insect were just a few of the 139 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong Region in 2014.
It's not unusual for scientists to discover species in the area, which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In fact, since 1997, there have been 2,216 new animals and plants identified there, according to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF).
One of the biggest headline-grabbers in 2014 was Ampulex dementor, a wasp that hunts cockroaches. The insect was creepy enough for scientists to name it after the Dementors, the fictional creatures from the "Harry Potter" series. The terrifying wasps inject venom into their prey, turning the roaches into "zombies" before dragging them off to eat.
Also discovered was the color-changing thorny frog, which is bright pink and yellow during the night but changes to a dull brown during the day. Scientists are not sure how the frog pulls off its costume change or why it sports white spikes that make it look like sandpaper.
This frog shares the Mekong with Phryganistria heusii yentuensis. At more than 21 inches long, it's the second-longest insect ever discovered. Scientists also recorded the 10,000th reptile ever discovered, a bent-toed gecko called Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi.
The Greater Mekong Region isn't just home to a wide array of animals; about 300 million people also live there. That presents plenty of environmental problems — most recently from 11 dams that environmentalists say could harm local wildlife.