Mind Controlling Parasites Part II: The Emerald Jewel Wasp

April 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm (randoms)

The emerald jewel wasp is a marvel of evolution. And evil.

The female, not being content with just laying her eggs in a hole and hoping the larvae find a way to survive like other insects, makes sure that her larvae will hatch right on top of their preferred food source: a cockroach. The problem with that is a typical cockroach is aggressive, and two to three times larger and beefier than the female.

She has found a way around this. An inventive, terrifying way.

Like a surgeon, the wasp uses her long stinger to penetrate the surprised cockroach, to paralyze and anesthetize the front section of its body. Now, she can take her sweet time, to make sure the second injection of her stinger is perfectly placed into a specific area of the roach’s brain. She injects more venom directly into it, precisely blocking very specific receptors of neurotransmitters that essentially destroy the roach’s fight or flight responses and leave it zombified.

Yes, the wasp knows how to do this.

Now in control of her very own cockroach, the wasp leads it back to her burrow. Once inside, she finally lays her egg on top of the cooperative cockroach, bites off its antennae in order to drink the roach’s blood and replenish her energy, then exits the burrow, sealing it off with rocks and pebbles.

After a few days, the eggs hatch and the larvae slowly consume the insides of the roach until they form a cocoons and the roach is finally allowed to embrace the sweet relief of death. Eventually the adult wasp emerges from the cocoon/dead roach husk to begin its own life of surgical zombification.

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2 Comments

  1. flopsy said,

    WHY did i decide to read this while eating my sandwich T.T

  2. Gobbly Gook said,

    I’ve heard of something similar in monarch butterflies. The parasite injects the eggs in the caterpillar, and then the eggs hatch as the caterpillar is in the cocoon.

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