This emerald insect uses an unusual method to raise its young!

The jewel wasp is an insect native to South Asia and Africa, and is named after its beautiful colour. The wasp is a vital part of the ecosystem as it helps control levels of pest cockroaches in its habitat which are known to destroy crops.

They are best known for their unusual method of reproduction. The female jewel wasps lay their eggs on the abdomen of a cockroach. The egg hatches and the larva will burry itself inside the cockroach, feeding off its organs (the less important first in order to keep them alive as long as possible). Once the larva has grown into full size it will eat its way out of the cockroach!

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Interesting facts

Where they live: South Asia and Africa

Size: up to 22mm long

Scientific name: Ampulex compressa