ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wasp Makes Cockroach Care For Her Young

Updated on December 20, 2018
burhanuddin1999 profile image

I am fond of writing. I am a student currently in high school.

A wasp on flower
A wasp on flower | Source


Wasp is a fascinating insect. Some wasps are social while remaining tend to maintain a solitary lifestyle. However, many solitary wasps are parasitoidal (they raise their young by laying eggs on or in other insects). These wasps' larvae will eventually kill their host which is not an act an actual parasite would do (it tend to keep the host alive).

An example of a parasitoidal wasp includes Iseropus wasps which thrust their eggs into the larvae of moths. Today our topic of discussion is one such parasitoidal wasp called the emerald jewel wasp also known as the cockroach wasp.

An emerald jewel wasp
An emerald jewel wasp | Source

The Emerald Jewel Wasp

Thanks to evolution, we have seen several unique animals with distinctive survival and reproductive techniques. The emerald jewel wasp is one of such examples. This wasp is a small bluish-green insect with a mixture of neurotoxins in her stinger which controls the brain activity of a cockroach.

Dramatically speaking her sting zombifies a cockroach.

A cockroach
A cockroach | Source

The Wasp Attacks!

The wasp is many times smaller than a cockroach, so to attack her prey she uses stealth as her weapon. The wasp slowly sneaks up on the roach, and when the time is right she attacks. At first, she faces some resistance because the cockroach tries to fight back. Once the wasp injects her sting, the cockroach's resistance die.

The Cockroach is Zombified.

The process of zombification begins by stinging the cockroach twice.

Effect of the first sting.

  • The first sting temporarily paralyzes the forelimbs of the cockroach. This situation is beneficial because the second sting must be very accurately injected into the roaches ganglia (bundles of nerves which act as the cockroach's brain).

Effects of the second sting.

  • The venom in the second sting impairs the escape reflex of the cockroach. Now the cockroach will be unable to escape while the wasp goes out to search for a nice place to nest.

  • Another effect of the sting is that the cockroach starts to lick its antenna (this process is also called grooming).

The wasp goes out in search for a nest.

While the wasp goes out in search for a nice place to nest, the cockroach is busy grooming itself. A wasp often prefers an underground cave or a burrow as her lair. Once she finds a suitable nest, the wasp returns and drags the roach by its antenna into her nest.

The wasp leaves the nest.

When in her nest, the wasp lays an egg on the inside of the cockroach's abdomen. She is now ready to leave the nest. However, before leaving she covers the entrance to nest with some pebbles. Blocking the entrance will keep a predator away from the cockroach, and ensures the cockroach does not escape. For another three days, the cockroach stays in the dark nest. He is unable to escape, and the only thing he can do now is to pray forgiveness for his past sins.

The nightmare begins.

The egg hatches after another three days. The larva feeds on inside of the roach, as a starter, it will chew its way through the roach's abdomen to reach its internal organ. On its way, the larva will slurp up any hemolymph(a fluid which is like blood in most invertebrates) it encounters. For the main course, the larva devours the least important organ for cockroach first while leaving the nervous system for the end. Now the cockroach will stay alive until the larva pupates.

Being eaten alive must be a horrible experience even for a cockroach. After the 8-day feast, the larva is ready to pupate. Before larva begins to pupate it releases some antimicrobial fluid because a corpse will surely attract bacteria.

Larva forms a cocoon inside the dead roach's body, and after a month a new wasp will emerge to continue this horrific cycle.

Interesting Facts:

  1. The first sting contains a large quantity of GABA(gamma amino butyric acid) which temporarily paralyzes the cockroach’s front legs. However, the second sting contains a mixture of neurotoxins.
  2. The Emerald wasps are mostly found in the tropical regions of South Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Island.
  3. A female wasp will mate only once, but that will be enough to fertilize dozens of eggs.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • JaneanOverman profile image

      Janean Overman 

      2 years ago from Virginia

      Interesting. Loved the hub!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      2 years ago from California, United States of America

      Great article and a fascinating subject!

    • burhanuddin1999 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from pakistan

      Thanks for appreciation

    • extremknowledge profile image

      Haseeb Akram 

      2 years ago from Pakistan

      great work ,,


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)