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The “Dementor” Wasp Can Zombify Its Roach Prey | Tucson Wasp Control

The “Dementor” Wasp Can Zombify Its Roach Prey | Tucson Wasp Control

Just a couple of years ago researchers discovered a wasp that possesses a special venom. This wasp has been referred to as the “dementor wasp”, and if you hate cockroaches then maybe you would like the dementor wasp. The dementor wasps are of special interest to researchers since they have the ability to paralyze large roaches with its venom.

The dementor wasp is capable of locating specific neurons that lie on the underside of roaches. After finding the right neurons, this wasp will inject its venom into the specific neurons that will cause paralysis. Once the roach is paralyzed, the dementor wasp will not waste a second sitting around and it will start to eat its paralyzed roach prey alive.

Instead of attacking the roaches’ motor neurons, the wasp will attack the neurons that give roaches the will to survive. So while the roaches muscles are working fine, the wasp is still able to consume the roach prey since the roach has been robbed of its will to live. Or, to put it another way, the roach no longer possesses an instinct for self-preservation as a result of neural damage inflicted by the dementor wasp.

Have you ever heard of any other insect that is capable of causing neural damage to other insects? If so, which insect/s?