SOUTH AMERICA (CBS Local) – Most of us have a healthy fear of wasps.
Now most of us can also be thankful we don’t share a habitat with a newly-discovered wasp species found in the Amazon that has a shockingly large stinger.
Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland were surprised by the super-sized stinger found on Clistopyga crassicaudata, which was uncovered in a zone between the Andes mountains and the lowland rainforest area of the Amazon.
“I have studied tropical parasitoid wasps for a long time, but I have never seen anything like it,” Professor Ilari E. Sääksjärvi said in a news release. “The stinger looks like a fierce weapon.”
“Parasitoid” wasp stingers have a dual purpose. Scientists say they use it to inject venom and for laying eggs into spiders or spider egg sacs. The venom paralyzes the spider allowing the female wasp to lay its eggs on its victim. The babies hatch as larvae and help themselves to the paralyzed arachnid.
The researchers aren’t sure yet exactly which spider Clistopyga crassicaudata prefers to lay its eggs on, but hope to raise funding for further studies of the unusual insect and other parasitoid wasps in the Amazon.