To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Blood sucking 'alien-like' wasp that eats host from the inside out discovered in the Amazon
Featured Image Credit: Brandon R. Claridge / Kari M. Kaunisto / Ilari E. Sääksjärvi

Blood sucking 'alien-like' wasp that eats host from the inside out discovered in the Amazon

The parasite wasp is said to eat its prey from the inside out.

Scientists have discovered 'alien-like' wasps, and it sounds like something straight out of Starship Troopers.

The surreal insects were discovered in the Amazon by researchers at Utah State University, and is one of over 100 new species discovered.

Biologist Brandon Claridge led a team through the lengthy surveying process.

Their study took place in the National Reserve of Allpahuayo-Mishana in Peru, which is part of the Amazon rainforest.

The team used malaise traps (netted tent-like devices) to capture flying insects in the rainforest, and it was through the traps that the discovered what they're now calling Capitojoppa amazonica.

The wasp got its name from its large almond-sized head.

Upon studying the wasp further, scientists made the gruesome discovery of how the insect kills its prey by laying eggs inside a host.

Caterpillars, beetles and some spiders are the wasps usual victims.

Explaining the rather horrifying process, Clardige told LiveScience: "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 (a tube-like, egg-laying organ)."

A new alien-like wasp has been discovered.
Brandon R. Claridge, Kari M. Kaunisto, Ilari E. Sääksjärvi

Then, after a few days, the eggs will hatch and the new juvenile insects will eat the host from the inside out.


They babies will then continue to live inside the corpse of the host as they continue to develop and will only come out once they're fully formed adult wasps.

If that wasn't hideous enough, apparently some female wasps will drink the hemolymph (the blood-like fluid found in insects) from a wound.

Claridge said: "Females will even stab the host with the ovipositor and feed without laying an egg as it helps with gaining nutrients for egg maturation."

As to why the sceintists conduct their survey in Allpahuayo-Mishana, it's said that the area has 'an unprecedented abundance of species'.

The insects got their name from their large heads.
Brandon R. Claridge, Kari M. Kaunisto, Ilari E. Sääksjärvi

"Allpahuayo-Mishana is a part of the Amazon that has an unprecedented abundance of species due to the region's complex geological history," study co-author Ilari Sääksjärvi, a professor of biodiversity research at the University of Turku, said.

However, parts of the Amazon in Eduador may have been saved recently after people voted in a historic referendum to halt the development of all new oil wells in the Yasuní national park.

Following the vote in August, state oil company Petroecuador was made to end its operations.

That particular part of the rainforest is home to to the Tagaeri and Taromenane people - two of the world’s last 'uncontacted' Indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation.

Topics: News, World News, Science