THIS SINISTER-LOOKING creature is an emerald cockroach wasp crawling out of the remains of a cockroach that has been its home for the past six weeks Female cockroach wasps (Ampulex compressa) lay their eggs on the abdomens of American cockroaches. Immediately after hatching, the larvae burrow their way into the roach’s belly. They then use their host as both food source and cradle.
“Cockroaches are genuinely dirty animals; they pick up enormous quantities of microbes from their environment, including pathogens that would kill the larvae,” says Dr Gudrun Herzner, an entomologist at the University of Regensburg in Germany. Research published by Dr Herzner and her team earlier this year shows the wasp has developed an ingenious solution to its insanitary surroundings – it spews a cocktail of antibacterial chemicals from its mouth.
You can watch an emerald cockroach wasp larva disinfecting its host in this video