A Newly Identified Wasp Species Is Being Called “The Freddy Krueger Wasp”
We all know that wasps are to be avoided as they can inflict painful stings. Some wasp stings are more painful than others, but any wasp that has been named “the Freddy Krueger wasp” has to be bad news. A previously undocumented species of wasp possesses a series of jagged spines along its back. These jagged designs are used by the wasp to break free from its host. You would think that a wasp with such bizarre features would have been documented by scientists by now. However, this wasp is as small as a sesame seed, which makes them hard to spot in the wild. In fact, nobody has ever spotted one of these wasps in the wild.
The Freddy Krueger wasp has been officially named Dendrocerus scutellaris. These wasps are known for inhabiting Costa Rica, but no record of this wasp being located in the wild currently exists. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have recently managed to locate a specimen that has been kept in storage ever since 1985 at London’s Natural History Museum. The researchers were able to learn many things concerning how this wasp lives in its own habitat. The wasp was also determined to be a parasitoid species based on its anatomical features. Parasitoids are insects that lay their eggs in a host-organism. Usually this organism is another insect. Once the wasp larvae hatch they eat their way out of the host and will eventually consume the entire body of the host once food supplies become low.
This wasp is only three millimeters long and it does not possess the pointed mandibles that most parasitoid insects use to escape their host’s bodies. Instead of using its jaws to escape from its host, the Freddy Krueger wasp uses its serrated body. Although these wasps sound like a nightmare, they are usually harmless to humans. As a matter of fact, Penn State researchers believe that this wasp could be useful for pest control purposes. These wasps could protect crops by preying on well known and highly destructive crop pests, such as aphids.
Do you think that Freddy Krueger wasps will be used for pest control purposes in the future?