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:

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