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  • Bryan W. Alaspa

Scary Insects: The emerald cockroach wasp

The world of insects... so much to truly be afraid of. Of course, most of it is at a very small level and most of the time you, as a full-fledged human being, do not need to worry about little wasps like the one above: the Emerald Cockroach Wasp or jewel wasp. Look at it. It's beautiful, and it's relatively small, and it poses virtually no threat to people unless a person were to grab it and hold it.

If you're a cockroach, though, you would find the emerald cockroach wasp the very stuff of nightmares. If roaches, of course had nightmares.

The Emerald cockroach wasp seeks out a cockroach and then sets about turning that roach into a mindless sort of zombie-slave much like Voodoo priests have been reported to do in some areas of the world. It does this by using an amazing innate ability to sting specific nerve clusters win the roach. These stings accomplish several things;

  1. The first sting stops the roach from trying to run. It paralyzes the front legs so the cockroach will not run.

  2. The second sting into the second nerve cluster will cause the cockroach to stop its normal behavior and act strangely. The roach will engage in excessive grooming behavior and then the roach becomes sluggish and staggers around like it's been on a bender all weekend.

  3. The wasp them chews off parts of the roaches antennae. About half of each antenna gets chewed off which further immobilizes the roach and also allows the wasp some food it can use for the next part.

  4. Using the remaining antennae as a kind of leash, the wasp guides the roach to its burrow. The venom injected has completely overridden the roaches normal flight defense and all of its normal motor functions and now it is the wasp's slave.

  5. Once inside the burrow, the wasp lays an egg on the roach's abdomen and then covers up the entrance of the burrow with small white pebbles. The venom keeps the roach sitting there in an almost semi-comatose state, so the pebbles are more to keep any other nosy predators out than to keep the roach inside.

  6. In about three days, the larva hatch out of the egg laid and begins to feed carefully on parts of the cockroach's body to keep it alive. Then it burrows into the roach's abdomen and lives in there, slowly and systematically eating the roach's organs in order for that roach to stay alive.

  7. The wasp larva forms a cocoon and nests within the body of the wasp until it reaches a more mature stage and then the wasp emerges from the roach's body and then from the burrow to go about its routine until it's time for it to mate and then find another hapless and helpless cockroach.

So, imagine if science were to use bio-engineering to create a kind of super-creature that combined elements of spiders, burrowing and parasitic wasps and other creatures to create something truly - evil. Emotionless.


The tourist season is over and winter is on the way. Then a body washes up on shore. A body that says it's from the government facility across the sound at Esther Island. With a storm coming, the citizens of Whittier have to deal with this on their own. They put the body in the basement of the towers, but their doctor wants to find out what killed this man. Was it a disease? How dangerous is it?

Then the horror begins.

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