Home Latest News Parasitic, blood-sucking ‘alien-like’ wasp found in Amazon, eats host from inside out – Times of India

Parasitic, blood-sucking ‘alien-like’ wasp found in Amazon, eats host from inside out – Times of India

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Parasitic, blood-sucking ‘alien-like’ wasp found in Amazon, eats host from inside out – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Scientists have identified a horrifying and dangerous new species of parasitic wasp that feeds on the blood of its host and devours it from the inside out. The Daily Star reports, this alien-like insect, named Capitojoppa amazonica, was discovered in the Amazon, specifically within the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve in Peru.
The parasitic wasp reaches a size of approximately 1.7cm and possesses a tube-like organ that injects an egg into the host’s body. It usually targets caterpillars, beetles, and spiders.
The wasp was discovered as part of an extensive, ongoing research project. The research team used specialized tent-like traps to capture flying insects in the rainforest. Capitojoppa amazonica is just one out of 109 newly discovered species.
Brandon Claridge from Utah State University, who is also the lead author of the study that describes Capitojoppa amazonica, explained to Live Science “Once the host is located and mounted, the female will frantically stroke it with her antennae. If acceptable, the female will deposit a single egg inside the host by piercing it with her ovipositor.”
The larvae of the wasp consumes the host from the inside out, after the eggs are hatched. They subsequently develop within the deceased host’s body before growing into adult wasps.
Later, several other wasps gather to feed on the haemolymph, a fluid similar to blood, present inside the host after the expectant mother punctures it with her tube.
Claridge stated, “Females will even stab the host with the ovipositor and feed without laying an egg as it helps with gaining nutrients for egg maturation”.
Study co-author Ilari Sääksjärvi, from the University of Turku, said, “The species biodiversity of many organisms is highest on the whole planet at Allpahuayo-Mishana”. “Allpahuayo-Mishana is a part of the Amazon that has an unprecedented abundance of species, due to the region’s complex geological history”, he added.



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