There isn’t much in the wild that I haven’t tangled with, including arachnids and insects. Black widows, hornets, millipedes, cockroaches and scorpions are all fair game, though the more ornery the critter, the more circumspect I am.
Scientists have recently found a new bug, however, that sounds absolutely appalling.
Nicknamed the crypt-keeper wasp, it has a decidedly distasteful life cycle, according to online publication Red Orbit.
The adult wasp, shown above, lays its egg within the small, wooden compartments built by a different species, the gall wasp, inside live sand oak trees.
When the egg hatches, crypt-keeper wasp larva dig into the gall wasp and takes control of its brain. This forces the gall wasp to tunnel out of the tree, a task the crypt-keeper has a hard time doing by itself.
If that weren’t grim enough, crypt-keeper wasp larva then causes its host to punch out a hole not quite big enough for it to escape from the tree.
“After the bigger wasp is stuck in the hole it’s burrowed, the crypt-keeper eats its host from within, finally erupting from the host’s head and out into the world,” according to Red Orbit.
I haven’t seen any of these, but I think I’ll do my best to keep my distance from this member of the order Hymenoptera should I happen across any in the future.