Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Ampulex compressa, commonly called Emerald Coc...

The Emerald Cockroach wasp has a metallic blue-green body, with the thighs of the second and third pair of legs being red. The female is approximately 22 mm long. The male of this species is smaller, and does not have a stinger.

Also known as a jewel wasp, the Emerald Cockroach wasp is best known for its unusual reproductive behavior, which involves stinging the cockroach; and then using the body as a living-host for its larvae.

The female Emerald Cockroach wasp will sting the cockroach twice, paralyze the front legs of the victim; and disable the escape reflex. Then the wasp leads the cockroach to a burrow, by pulling one of the roach’s antennae; similar to a leash. Once they reach the burrow, the Emerald Cockroach wasp lays a white egg, on the cockroach’s abdomen.

Adults live for several months. Mating takes about one minute, and only one mating session is necessary, for a female wasp to successfully parasitize several dozen cockroaches; making them an unlikely source of natural pest control services.

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