Capitojoppa amazonica is a newly-discovered genus of parasitic wasps that stabs its victims with its giant ovipositor and sucks the blood out of them before laying its eggs inside.

Image credit: Kari M. Kaunisto

The terrifying insect was discovered by scientists from the University of Utah while surveying the National Reserve of Allpahuayo-Mishana in Peru. They laid large netted devices called malaise traps to capture as many flying insects as possible. Among the creatures caught in their traps was a bright yellow wasp with a giant almond-shaped head and tube-like organs sticking out of it. Scientists concluded that the specimen, an adult female, was a new ‘solitary endoparasitoid’ – meaning it lays a single egg inside the body of its host (caterpillars, beetles, and even spiders). The egg hatches in a matter of days, after which the wasp larvae start to consume the host’s inside.

Capitojoppa amazonica isn’t the only parasitic bug that lays eggs inside of its host, but scientists have observed other creepy behaviour as well. For example, after stabbing its victim, the large wasps have been seen routinely sucking the hemolymph, the bloodlike fluid inside insects, from the stab wound. According to researchers, some species of C. amazonica “will even stab the host with the ovipositor and feed without laying an egg as it helps with gaining nutrients for egg maturation.”