I Do Not Like This New Wasp Species Whose Giant Stinger Lays Eggs Inside Spiders

The wasp specimen
Photo: Kari Kaunisto

Hi, do you see that long red thing? It belongs to that wasp. Its function is to both sting and lay eggs inside of another creature, which is eventually killed from the inside by the wasp’s horrifying offspring. I do not like this wasp and hope that I never meet this wasp.

Scientists at the University of Turku in Finland recently described not one, but seven new species of wasp, which they discovered on trips to the region between the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. I do not like any wasps, but the University of Turku recently chose to highlight the wasp I do not like the most: Clistopyga crassicaudata. Here it is in full:

Photo: Kari Kaunisto

The species name, crassicaudata, references the thickness of that stinger. Even one of the researchers who described the species said in a press release he’d never seen anything like it.

How does it work? It’s sort of a dual-use syringe. It starts by harming the host, usually a spider, by injecting venom. Then it deposits its eggs on or into the spider’s body. When the larvae hatch, they eat the spider from the inside out.

I hope you understand why I do not like this wasp.



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About the author

Ryan F. Mandelbaum

Science writer at Gizmodo | I like physics and eating