'Godzilla' Wasp Discovered That Dives Underwater to Attack Prey

Researchers have discovered a "Godzilla" wasp that deliberately dives underwater to insert parasitic eggs into its prey

    2020/11/06

NSFW    OSAKA, JAPAN — Researchers have discovered a "Godzilla" wasp that deliberately dives underwater to insert parasitic eggs into its prey, according to a research article published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research.

Only a few species of wasps enter water, but the newly found parasitoid wasp, dubbed Microgaster godzilla, not only enters water but dives underwater to search for and attack its prey, larvae of the moth species Elophila turbata.

Elophila turbata larvae make portable cases from fragments of aquatic plants and live inside these cases near the surface of the water.

The female wasp pobes the caterpillar with its antennae and eventually forces it out of its case. Sometimes it dives completely underwater to evict the larvae.

It then paralyzes the larvae with its ovipositor and inserts its eggs into the caterpillar's flesh. The wasp's parasitic larvae later consume the caterpillar from the inside until they pupate.

Microgaster godzilla is native to the Japanese prefectures of Osaka and Kyoto in Honshu.

Writing in the journal article, lead author Jose Fernandez-Triana of the Canadian National Collection of Insects said the wasp species was named after Godzilla because of the way in which it emerges from the water.
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