Amazing example of a near-parasite

Amazing example of a near-parasite

The wasp, Ampulex compressa, has evolved to sting a cockroach twice. The first sting results in a transient paralysis. During this paralysis the wasp injects a toxin into a specific part of a roach’s brain, shutting down the escape reflex.

The roach recovers and walks again, but cannot escape. Now the wasp guides one of the roach’s antennae and leads the roach into the wasp’s burrow. The wasp lays an egg on the roach and when it hatches, the larva chews a hole in the side of the roach and goes in, growing and weaves a cocoon inside the body after 8 days. After four more weeks, the wasp breaks out of the roach as in the Alien movie.

It’s amazing what evolution can produce!


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