Some parents in the animal kingdom go to great lengths to give their offspring a leg up in the world. The emerald cockroach wasp takes it the extreme. Females are equipped with a special venom that can disable a cockroach's willingness to flee. This venom allows the small wasp to lead the much larger insect into a burrow of doom—where it will become live prey for mother’s hatchling larva.
Watch this video from Team Candiru to see the incredible mind control at work.
This article was originally published with the title "Watch a Wasp Take Control of a Cockroach's Brain" in Scientific American 315, 2, (August 2016)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Katherine Harmon Courage
Katherine Harmon Courage is a freelance journalist. Her first book, Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea (Current/Penguin, 2013), examines that animal’s famed intelligence. Her forthcoming book Cultured explores the microbiome and food.