‘Harry Potter’ Wasp Turns Bugs Into Zombies

May 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm |
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Prepare to bee amazed. (Sorry.)

As if you needed another reason to hate wasps, a recent expedition to southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong Region uncovered 139 new species, including what’s been dubbed “the dementor wasp.”

Though the Harry Potter reference is flattering, it’s not all together accurate. As all HP fans will know, Dementors are Dark creatures often employed as prison guards that are able to drain the happiness and life force out of all living things. Their speciality is the Dementor’s Kiss, in which the spectral non-beings literally suck out somebody’s soul.

When it comes to the Ampulex dementor wasp down in Thailand, things are a little different, but nonetheless totally weird. The cockroach-hunting wasp injects its prey with a neurotransmitter-blocking venom that turns the poor cockroaches into zombies. No really: the victims remain totally mobile, but totally not in control of their bodies. As the cockroach wanders around aware yet helpless, the wasp drags it away and devours it while still alive.

Perhaps a more appropriate name would have been the “Stupefy wasp.” This whole thing sounds like an entry from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Even if you hate bugs (understandable) or hate “Harry Potter” (impossible), you’ve gotta read this.