Emerald Cockroach Wasp:

A Real Beauty: A Fatal Beauty



Emerald Cockroach Wasp
Courtesy of Wikipedia


I have finally found my favorite insect, after all these years. The Emerald Cockroach Wasp is as beautiful as a jewel. It’s a wasp that uses cockroaches as a breeding ground. The males don’t have a stinger, they don’t need one. The female mates in a minute and then goes cockroach hunting.

That single mating will allow this female wasp to “steal” the lives of several dozen cockroaches. The female finds her prey and gives it a very precise sting to the ganglia that controls the front legs, and the poison temporarily paralyzes them. This way the cockroach, larger than the wasp, can’t fight back or flee. Next the wasp delivers a second sting to the brain which is precise enough to make the cockroach “forget to flee” when it finally regains the use of its legs.

Once the cockroach has been sufficiently poisoned, the wasp begins chewing off half of each antenna. No one has figured this behavior out yet, whether it’s to control the venom working inside the cockroach, or replenish the wasp is undetermined. Finally the wasp grasps the cockroach by the antenna and leads it to a nest. After settling the tame cockroach in its new surroundings the wasp lays a single white egg on the cockroach and fills in the burrow. She goes in search of another cockroach and her young will hatch and feed on the roach for days. Once the larva has fed for a few days it becomes a parasite and starts eating the inside of the cockroach, careful to eat the organs in a specific order. This is to keep the cockroach alive long enough for the wasp to reach the pupal stage and build its cocoon.

I love this insect because of its beauty and because of its precision. I think it’s absolutely magnificent that the female continues her hunt and has no need of the male or of workers. She is her own queen and so are her daughters. She is the worker and the surgeon. She’s an exterminator, but she’s careful about it. I wonder if it’s design or an adaptation.

This fatal beauty lives in Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. She was brought to Hawaii for biological pest control, but she has a mind of her own and is territorial, making her unsuitable for the job.

For your pest problems here you can count on your professionals at Termite Control Arizona. These licensed control specialists are not just trained to treat termites in Chandler. They have been trained to treat your home for cockroaches and other pests as well; no need to go to Hawaii to catch a pet Emerald Cockroach Wasp.



Tempe AZ –

Termite Control Arizona

1753 E BROADWAY, STE #101

TEMPE, AZ 85282

(480) 630-3019