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Submitted on
December 20, 2010
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13 (who?)
SB Project 2011-31 by Cacodaemonia SB Project 2011-31 by Cacodaemonia
Thanks to =Steven-T-H-N for suggesting this!

Emerald Jewel Wasps exclusively use cockroaches to reproduce. Upon locating a cockroach, the female wasp stings it with a mild paralytic. Once the roach has been immobilized, the wasp makes a very precise injection of a different venom into a specific area of the cockroach’s brain. Studies indicate that the venom blocks dopamine and/or octopamine receptors, and from then on the cockroach will not attempt to flee, even after the paralysis wears off. At this point the wasp usually bites off parts of the cockroach's antennae and leads it into a burrow. After laying a single egg on the roach's stomach, the wasp barricades it and the egg inside the burrow and leaves. Soon the egg hatches and the larva burrows inside of the roach, consuming its tissue for nourishment. The cockroach is alive this whole time, but because of the second sting it got from the female wasp, it still will not attempt to flee. Eventually the wasp larva creates a cocoon inside the roach and develops into an adult wasp. After it hatches, it emerges from the now dead cockroach and leaves the burrow.

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ayuICHI Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic detail.
snowzapped Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
That fun fact you offered is so damn cool. :love:

The wasp looks as if it's trying to convince the cockroach to come with her peacefully. :lmao:
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, if only it were peaceful. T^T
aedifico Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Huh, I wonder just how many species of wasps do something like this. Seems like I've heard of at least two other kinds that collect different kinds of insects for their larvae. These ones have a really pretty name, though, "emerald jewel"...I'm totally distracted by that name.
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I know there are some species that use caterpillars, so yeah, there may be many more. :o
Steven-T-H-N Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2010
awesome so very proud to play the muse for you. I will be sure to pass along any other awesome critter info that i Have.

your line work is just stunning. did you study biological illustration?
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent! :)

Thanks! No, I haven't studied science illustration, though I've always loved it.
svenmarie Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2010
...and there I was, anthropomorphising that wasp and imagining she had a look of tender concern on her face.
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Ouch! Not quite the correct emotion to assign to the situation, hehe. ;)
Luincalen Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010
It's no surprise where they get the ideas for creepy sci-fi movies... it happens in real life!

We used to have pet hissing cockroaches...
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