Wasp species with massive stinger found lurking in the Amazon

A new wasp species with a giant stinger has been discovered in the Amazon, according to researchers in Finland. The species, called Clistopyga crassicaudata, was found to exist in the range between the Amazonian lowlands and the Andes mountains. The insect's most notable element is its giant stinger, which it uses to both inject venom into its victims and lay eggs.

The parasitoid wasp species was discovered by scientists from Finland's University of Turku, which reports the insect's stinger as surprisingly huge. No other tropical parasitoid wasp has been discovered with a stinger this size, making Clistopyga crassicaudata unique. The wasp is capable of using its stinger to inject venom into a host where it will then lay its eggs using the same stinger.

The hatched larva can then eat the paralyzed victim, such as a spider. Researchers explain that the Clistopyga genus this wasp species belongs to tends to lay its eggs either in spider victims or in their egg sacs. At this time, scientists haven't determined which variety of spider this parasitoid wasp prefers to hunt.

Researchers did note, however, that the wasp can use its long stinger as a sort of needle to close a spider's nest around its paralyzed body, keeping predators from getting to it. Many details about the new wasp species are still lacking, though researchers with the university are working on getting funding to study the wasps. Doing so will help shed light on the species and its unique habits.

SOURCE: EurekAlert