“The smallest insect may cause death by its bite.”
The world of insects is always full of wonders and beauty. Despite those wonders and beauty, there’s quite a lot of sinister hidden beneath them. Ampulex Compressa the zombie insect or the jewel wasp, is one of those gorgeous and beautiful insects in the world of insects. These stunners frequently found in African Savana, in Asia, and as well as in some of the Pacific Islands. They are unique due to their unbelievable reproductive behavior. However, though they resembled gorgeous like a jewelry due to their metallic complexion, their hidden menacing conduct discloses through their breeding style. Zombies Do exist in the insect world?
Host subduing strategy.
This fantastic creature’s reproductive procedure is carried on with the manipulation of a cockroach using their venom. So the Ampulex Compressa the zombie insect’s host will be a hunted cockroach. Besides, their cockroach subduing strategy consists of two stings that inject venom into the host. According to the research findings, the earliest sting specifically aims at particular ganglia to deliver venom. Consequently, the front legs of the sufferer get disabled. Then the subsequent sting strikes on the sufferer’s brain; into the area, which controls the escape behavior. As soon as wasp is done with the second sting, the roach starts to groom itself. Further it becomes inactive, slow and becomes unable to escape.
Moreover, the scientists reveal that the wasps are capable of gauging the effectiveness of their sting by tasting roach’s blood. After the cockroach is immobilized, the wasp moves to the next step in its host subduing procedure. That is it begins to bite half of both the roach’s antennae. As a result the zombie-like conduct comes out of the cockroach. Undoubtedly, the wasp’s manipulation of the roach’s drive for walking and escaping is impressive. So basically its manipulation is mainly done by injecting its venom to its prey.
Its unusual reproductive behavior.
Meanwhile, the prey is ready to carry in to the wasp’s burrow. For this wasp uses roach’s antennae as a leash and drags the prey into the burrow. Then it spawns an egg in between roach’s legs. After that the wasp leaves the burrow, sealing the entrance using small sticks and pebbles. Now it has done everything to safeguard its investment. Evidently, the cockroach is the living food supply for the wasp offspring.
So the jewel wasp starts life within the underside of the tranquilized cockroach. Subsequently, three days after spawning the egg hatches, The wasp offspring starts to feed on the cockroach by penetrating through the roach’s cuticle near the lower leg. It continues getting nourishment from the host and later it set foot inside the body cavity of the cockroach. The roach is still living but unable to react or respond. Likewise the wasp offspring initiates swallowing the internal organs of the roach.
Meanwhile, the wasp offspring gains all its nourishments through the host and it grows up. After several weeks the wasp offspring who turns out to be an adult comes out from the dehydrated pod of the roach to finalize the life cycle. Moreover, the wasp’s life cycle consists of 5 phases. That is starting from an egg gradually develops to a 1st instar state to 2nd instar phase, then 3rd instar stage and finally pupa stage. However this unusual reproductive behavior is quite customary among all the wasps in the Ampulicidae family, yet the way they arrest and subdue the roach varies among them.
The other wasps with similar behavior
Ampulex dementor is a cockroach wasp species with a close behavior to that of an Ampulex compresser. This species of wasps are frequently found in Thailand. However, their appearance is different to that of the jewel wasp.
Glytapanteles is mostly found in Central North America and New Zealand. They use caterpillars as hosts to spawn their eggs.
Taranntula Hawk is a spider wasp that hunts on tarantulas. They are unique as they are most giant parasitoid wasps, They make use of their sting to disable their prey before pulling it in to an offspring nest as living food. This behavior is so much similar to that of jewel wasp’s strategies despite some differences. The female tarantula hawks carry on their subduing procedures while male tarantula hawks used to watch female practices.
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