Scientists Discover New And Terrifying Wasp Parasite

I’ve written before about how horrific the wasp life cycle can be. They lay their eggs in all sorts of insects and animals which results in scenes you’d expect to see in an Alien movie.

But like…way scarier.

Now scientists have discovered a new species of wasp that preys on other wasps. This hyperparasite has been given the name, Crypt-Keeper wasp. It’s scientific name is Euderus set, named after the Egyptian god of evil and chaos.

This is how it works: A gall wasp burrows into an oak tree and hollows out an area to lay its eggs. This produces a kind of warped knobby extension referred to as a gall.

I’m sure you’ve seen them around.

Unbeknownst to the gall wasp, another wasp discovers its eggs, and then lays its own eggs inside of them. The crypt-keeper wasp larva grows inside of the gall wasp and alters its victim’s behavior so that when it would normally emerge from the tree, it instead makes too small of an exit hole and gets stuck. The crypt-keeper then eats its way out of the gall wasp and escapes through the small hole it made in the tree. The crypt-keeper wasp is too small to dig its way out on its own so it relies on its victim’s hard work to free it. The crypt-keeper wasp is then free to grow, mate, and continue the cycle by laying eggs in another gall wasp egg crypt.

For a more complete explanation check out the video below.

This just goes to show that nothing we could ever dream up will be as scary as what already exists in nature.


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