FEB 18, 2020 4:48 PM PST

This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The emerald cockroach wasp, also sometimes called the jeweled cockroach wasp because of its colorful body that shines like that of a jewel, goes out of its way to seek out a viable cockroach host that it can use to ensure the survival of its larvae.

Upon locating a viable specimen, the emerald cockroach wasp slowly approaches the cockroach and delivers a number of stings. The first prevents the cockroach’s front legs from moving, while the second disables the insect’s flight response. After the venom sinks in, the cockroach begins grooming itself relentlessly while the wasp waits at a safe distance.

After the wasp determines that the cockroach is no longer a threat, it closes in again and severs its antennae. The wasp then drags the cockroach into its burrow, where it lays an egg on the insect’s body. Then, the wasp exits the burrow and seals it off, ensuring that its offspring can feast on the cockroach’s remains when it hatches.

Once a full month passes, the larva has fully grown, and it emerges from the sealed burrow ready to repeat the unusual reproductive process once again.

Related: Here's what would happen if we killed all the world's wasps

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 27, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Cold Foods Don't Taste as Good, Even to Flies
APR 27, 2020
Cold Foods Don't Taste as Good, Even to Flies
The deliciousness of a food appeal is about a lot more than just taste.
MAY 15, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
It Only Takes One Gene For Virgin Birth in Honey Bees
MAY 15, 2020
It Only Takes One Gene For Virgin Birth in Honey Bees
Cape honey bees are found in South Africa, and while they look similar, they are very different from other subspecies of ...
JUN 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
World Environment Day 2020 Celebrates Biodiversity
JUN 05, 2020
World Environment Day 2020 Celebrates Biodiversity
Today is World Environment Day, and this year’s theme is biodiversity. As defined by the United Nations (UN), biod ...
JUN 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
Desperate Polar Bear Mother Weighs Risks of Attacking Dangerous Walruses
JUN 16, 2020
Desperate Polar Bear Mother Weighs Risks of Attacking Dangerous Walruses
Polar bears are being subjected to severe living conditions as the Arctic’s ice caps continue to melt, and without ...
JUL 15, 2020
Technology
Tiny Cameras: Viewing The World Through an Insect
JUL 15, 2020
Tiny Cameras: Viewing The World Through an Insect
Researchers have sought to develop cameras that ‘ride’ on the backs of insects, giving us an opportunity to ...
AUG 03, 2020
Plants & Animals
Pollutants, Pathogens and Toxins Found in Shellfish
AUG 03, 2020
Pollutants, Pathogens and Toxins Found in Shellfish
Scientists used cutting edge technologies to assess how pervasive toxic or household chemicals and pathogens like plasti ...
Loading Comments...