The jewel wasp and the zombie - Medy Oberendorff
The jewel wasp and the zombie
Ampulex compressa and Periplaneta americana
The female wasps of this species sting a cockroach twice, delivering venom. It delivers an initial sting to a thoracic ganglion and injects venom to mildly and reversibly paralyze the front legs of its victim. Temporary loss of mobility in the roach facilitates the second venomous sting at a precise spot in the victim's head ganglia (brain), in the section that controls the escape reflex. As a result of this sting the roach becomes sluggish and fails to show normal escape responses. The wasp, which is too small to carry the roach, then leads the victim to the wasp's burrow, by pulling one of the roach's antennae in a manner similar to a leash. In the burrow, the wasp lays an egg on the roach's abdomen. With its escape reflex disabled,the hatched larva lives and feeds on the roach.
pencil drawing scanned and colour added in Adobe Photoshop
As the author of illustration I have given permission for it to be loaded on Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0.