Sunday 18 September 2011

Emerald Cockroach Wasp

Image: Wikipedia
Oh, wow! Look at this sexy, young thing! She's certainly gone to some effort. Look at her sparkle, catching the light and returning it to the world in a form more beautiful than she found it. Her second and third pair of legs are adorned with beautiful, orange detail, as if to draw the eye to her shapely thighs. How risqué!

It is no wonder that she is also known as the Jewel Wasp. This 'Cockroach' thing raises questions, though. Gosh, I sure hope her personality is as utterly charming as her visage! (Literary device)

This delicate creature reaches a small, slender and perfectly formed 2 cm or so in length, with the males smaller. The females also have a sting (foreshadowing), which the males lack. Personally, I think if Cupid can shoot you in the heart with an arrow, this little sweetheart can have a sting! (Naive)

Alas, such finery cannot be found in all parts of the world. She graces tropical climes in Africa, South Asia and the Pacific islands. No doubt she is confined to only the most paradisal of lands. Such exquisiteness, were it to enter my humble life I don't know that my cack-handed ham-fistedness could truly appreciate her in the way she deserves. Woe is me!

So how does this lady spend her time? Does she eat food? I have no idea. She certainly mates, though. With some handsome, sculpted Adonis, no doubt. It's soon time to lay her eggs, her pearls of life. What does she do? She finds herself a cockroach. It begins.

Step 1: She stings the cockroach in the underside. The cockroach's front pair of legs are temporarily paralysed such that it can't run away.

Step 2: She calmly, carefully and clinically stings the roach in the head. She aims for a specific part of the brain for an equally specific effect.

At first, the cockroach grooms itself for around 30 minutes, while the wasp seeks out a suitable burrow. As time passes, the cockroach becomes increasingly lethargic as it descends into a stupor.

The roach isn't paralysed, certainly not dead, it's just totally relaxed with its predicament. If it gets flipped onto its back it will do all the same crazy leg stuff to flip itself over, but it's otherwise wholly apathetic on the great questions of life and death. And how to guarantee one and avoid the other.

Step 3: She chews off some of the cockroach's antennae and drinks some blood. No doubt this is all thirsty work, but she's probably not above some gratuitous cruelty either. The cockroach watches, contemplating the deep significance and profound meaning of the colour emerald.

Image: Jen R via Flickr
Step 4: She grabs onto one of the cockroach's antennae and leads it to her burrow. The roach walks on obediently, feeling at one with the world and hoping for a warm place to relax and have a bite to eat.

Step 5: She tucks the cockroach into her burrow and lays one egg on its abdomen. Before leaving, she piles up some stones at the entrance to keep predators out. The cockroach is grateful.

Step 6: The egg hatches and a larval Emerald Cockroach Wasp is born. No beauty, this. It looks like a maggot. She wants to be beautiful, so she eats her way into the cockroach's body. The cockroach is hungry. So hungry it hurts...

Step 7: The larval wasp consumes the cockroach from the inside. Carefully. She first confines herself to non-vital organs to keep the cockroach alive and fresh. Then she eats the rest, the entire process taking about 8 days. The cockroach is in pain, but the idea of running away never occurs to that enfeebled brain. It just doesn't seem like an option.

The roach tries "mind over matter" and thinks of higher things. The larval wasp really doesn't care. Too hungry. Eating.

Step 8: The larval wasp pupates. In time an adult emerges, first from the pupa, then the corpse, then the burrow. A jewel glints in the light for the first time. She has a dark past; she will have a dark future.

In your personal "Top 10 Worst Ways to Die" list, where would this come? Getting eaten alive over the course of a week. You're not paralysed or unconscious, just a bit confused. Almost like you're at a fancy dinner and you don't know which spoon is for the soup, so you just sit there.

Then someone starts cutting slices off you and serving them to the other guests. You just sit there, uncertain as to the correct course of action in such circumstances.

They didn't teach you about that at finishing school.

Source, and understand the allusion without risk of nightmares
Personally, I'm stunned. Such beauty, married with such merciless, high precision evil. I must ask Dear Reader James, who nominated this horror story: has the Emerald Lady broken your heart as she has mine? I may never trust emeralds again.

I hear there are children these days who think it's "cool" or "fly" to get themselves "blissed out" or "whitied" or some such. I hope you now realise that such behaviour may well result in you getting eaten alive to death.

Don't do it, kids!



TexWisGirl said...

Well this is certainly a loaded post! ;)

Joseph JG said...

Hahahaa! :P

Crunchy said...

At least she lobotomizes the poor cockroach first, even if only because she knows what's coming.

I wonder if the cockroach expects her to call.

Joseph JG said...

Expects her to call, ha! Tragedy upon tragedies!

Susannah Anderson said...

I tried to comment a while ago, but the "Post" button didn't do anything at all, it seemed. So I hope this isn't a duplicate.

I have included the link to this post in this month's Circus of the Spineless #66, at

A wonderful, funny, informative post!

Joseph JG said...

Thanks, Susannah! I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

What a fun post! I definitely learned something new (and gross).

Joseph JG said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it!