Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creepy New Wasp Specie Discovered

Insects have been programmed to make their homes from mud or soil. They’d line their nest with plant debris and resin to keep themselves and their larva protected. However, a new species of wasps take the idea of a “haunted house” to a new level. They actually use ant corpses to line their nest.

The new specie, called Deuteragenia ossarium or simply bone-house spider wasp, uses this strategy to protect their homes. Normally, spider wasps would dig holes in trees or wood or even occupy pre-existing holes and cavities. They would lay their eggs in different chambers and hunt living spiders for their growing larva. Mother wasps would paralyze spiders and drag them back to the nest to get fed on. Once she leaves food for the developing baby wasps, she seals the nest and flies of. The wasp larva, once fully developed, would then make their way out of the nest.

The bone-house spider wasp was discovered by a team from the University of Freiburg in Germany. They spent time collecting wasp species and their nest in Southeast China’s Gutianshan National Nature Reserve. Out of the 829 nests, 73 had an outer cell that had dead ants in them. This unique nesting behavior is one of a kind in the insect world and sounds like something that came straight out of a horror movie. The researchers then realized that the mature wasps which came out of these strange nest were an unknown specie, so they named it after the word "ossuary" or a graveyard bone-house.

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