Be honest, when you’re watching a tv show like The Walking Dead or going through some zombie movies, you imagine how you’d act and what you’d do in a world full of zombies. But alas, you’re only in the real world and safe from the zombie apocalypse. Turns out zombie world isn’t that far away though! A jewel wasp actually has the power to turn their prey into the living dead.
That’s right, a jewel bug first paralyses a cockroach and then “injects blocks the roach’s octopamine receptors, stealing its ability to make independent decisions”. The cockroach is alive but also sort of dead since it can’t do anything on its own. The wasp basically becomes the king of a zombie.
The rejuvenated wasp then guides the zombified roach back to its burrow, where she lays an egg on her new playmate.
In about three days the newly hatched larva will chew its way into the still very much alive cockroach’s abdomen, where it will feed on the roach’s organs. Shrewdly saving the nervous system for last, the wasp baby ensures its babysitter-turned-breakfast stays alive and juicy for as long as possible.