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The emerald jewel wasp is a deadly and venomous insect, like all wasps are. Their sting can be excruciatingly painful for humans. Nevertheless, this brilliant metallic blue-green tropical wasp found in South Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands is of little concern to humans unless disturbed. But for cockroaches, this wasp is the stuff of nightmares.

The emerald jewel wasp is a parasitic wasp that enslaves cockroaches by injecting mind-controlling venom into their brains. After being stung by the wasp, the cockroach loses control of its behavior and becomes a slave to the wasp. The wasp then lays eggs on the cockroach, and as the larva grows it consumes the cockroach alive from within eventually killing it. The young offspring then emerges out of the corpse like an alien bursting out of the victim’s abdomen.


An emerald jewel wasp and a cockroach battles for dominance. Photo credit: Glass and Nature/

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