The Wasp that turns its prey into zombies

A jewel wasp or Emerald cockroach wasp

A jewel wasp or Emerald cockroach wasp

  • The Jewel wasp or Emerald cockroach wasp is a parasitoid which uses their venom for reproduction.
  • The only hunts and parasite certain types of bigger roaches.
  • When the Jewel wasp attacks, the first sting is delivered into the cockroach’s nervous system, temporarily paralyzes the legs and enables the jewel wasp to deliver a second sting into its brain.
  • Because of the stings, the roach’s dopamine is disabled which turns it to a zombie with no ability to move.
  • The wasp then leads the roach into a burrow where the roach is sealed in for a hibernation-like state.
  • The jewel wasp’s offspring emerges from the roach in form of a larvae which gets nutrition from the cockroach and then leaves the dead body after 6 weeks, full grown.
  • The Jewel wasp is common in the tropical regions of South Asia, Africa and the Pacific islands.
  • The Wasps have a metallic blue and green body with the third pairs of legs red. The female is circa 22 mm long and the male is a bit smaller and without a stinger.

Sources and further reading:

Wikipedia-page

Videos:

FUBARtrivia at Ripley’s Believe it or not! museum in London

  • Last week, FUBARtrivia visited London, England and stopped by at ”Ripley’s Believe it or not! museum”.
  • The museum is a collection of strange, amazing and rare objects and people from all around the world collected by the entreprenour Robert Ripley.
  • The London museum is the world’s largest Ripley’s Believe it or not! museum and it opened on August 20, 2008 at Picadilly Circus.
Outside Ripley's Believe it or not! museum in London at Picadilly circus

Outside Ripley's Believe it or not! museum in London at Picadilly circus

18th century's Thomas Wedders had the longest nose in the world with 19 cm

18th century's Thomas Wedders had the longest nose in the world with 19 cm

A self-deformed Peruvian skull.

A self-deformed Peruvian skull.

A woman with huge lips.

A woman with huge lips.

Patrick Deuel a.k.a. "The Half ton man". He was one of the heaviest persons with a peaking weight of 486 kg.

Patrick Deuel a.k.a. "The Half ton man". He was one of the heaviest persons with a peaking weight of 486 kg.

Scold's bridle, a Scottish torture device from the 16th century which was used to punish women using unwanted language.

Scold's bridle, a Scottish torture device from the 16th century which was used to punish women using unwanted language.

Iron maiden, a German torture device from the 18th century.

Iron maiden, a German torture device from the 18th century.

A man with four pupils.

A man with four pupils.

A two-headed goat.

A two-headed goat.

A very rare shrunken head from the Jivaro-tribe

A very rare shrunken head from the Jivaro-tribe

Sources and further reading:

Ripley’s Believe it or not! London Museum site

Giant birdeating spiders

A Goliath Birdeater on a human hand

A Goliath Birdeater on a human hand

  • Goliath birdeater or ”Theraphosa blondi” in latin is the world’s largest spider.
  • The spider is found in wet swamps and around rainforestes in countries such as Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.
  • A Goliath Birdeater can grow to almost a foot across (almost the size of a dinner plate) and with fangs about an inch long.
  • Despite its threatening size, goliath birdeater is pretty harmless to humans – but they do tend to bite humans when threatened.
  • Their venom’s effect on humans causes swelling and some pain for a couple of hours.
  • Goliath birdeater has the abillity to flick urticating hairs from its body at other creatures it sees as a threat. These hairs can embed themselves in to other animal’s skin or eyes. The hairs can result in painful rashes and is said to feel like sharp shards of fiberglass.
  • Goliath birdeater has an unusual abillity for a spider and that is making noise. When thretened, it rubs the hairs on the legs together causing a hissing noise called ”strudulation” which can be heard up to 15 feet (4.5 m) away.
  • Goliath birdeater got its name because it’s known to take young birds from their nests to eat. The also eat snakes, insects, frogs, lizards and bats.
  • A certain Amerinindian tribe sees the goliath birdeater as a delicacy and carefully hunts it.
A mammoth spider (Golden silk orb-weaver) eating a finch

A mammoth spider (Golden silk orb-weaver) eating a finch

  • In October 2008, some shocking photos began circulating the web. A mammoth spider (Golden silk orb-weaver) was caught on camera eating a bird in a backyard in Cairns, Australia.
  • According to Joel Shakespeare, head spider keeper at NSW’s Australian Reptile Park, it’s unusual to see a mammoth sider eating a bird. They normally prey on insects.
  • It’s not unusual for the Golden silk orb-weaver to grow to the size of a human hand, but this one was even larger.
  • The bird which is a Chestnut-breasted Munia or a ”Bully Bird”, is likely to have flown into the spider’s web and got caught. The web acts as a barbed wire, causing the prey to get more tangled up the more it struggles.
  • A Bully bird grows to 10 – 10.5 cm and got its nickname from its tendency to be aggressive and bully other birds.
  • The mammoth spider doesn’t eat the whole bird, but instead it uses its venom to break down the bird, creating a package of food.

Sources and further reading:

Blue Planet Biomes
Extreme Science-article: Biggest spider
Cairns-article: Spider eats bird

Videos:

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