Newly Discovered Wasp Uses Saw-Like Spines to Cut Through Host’s Body

A wasp that uses saw-like spikes to cut its host pen from the inside was discovered this year.

The Dendrocerus scutellaris lives in Costa Rica and many parts of its life are unknown since it hasn’t been observed in the wild.

Instead, a research team led by doctoral candidate Carolyn Trietsch of the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State used preserved specimens to piece together details about how the wasp lives.

The wasp is unique in not having mandibles for chewing. It has a series of spines along its back. The wasp uses the spines against the host like a saw to cut open the body.

“While their lives may sound gruesome, parasitoid wasps are harmless to humans and can even be helpful,” explained the scientists. “Depending on the host they parasitize, parasitoids can benefit agriculture by controlling pest insects like aphids that damage crops.”

The research was published in February in Biodiversity Data Journal.

Video Credit: GeoBeats

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