Dementor Wasp Explained in Fewer than 1000 words

It is a cockroach wasp which goes by the name of dementor Wasp. The scientific name of this species is Ampulex dementor. Moreover, it’s black and red in colour and found in Thailand.

To deposit their eggs and obtain sustenance, these parasitoids are known to prey on cockroaches.

Short Bio

HabitatMekong river
Life spanOne year
GeographySouth-east Asia
Weight1.2 grams
Size11 mm
ColourOrange/Red and black
PredatorsBirds and reptiles
IUCN rankThreatened

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Clade: Euarthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Ampulicidae

Genus: Ampulex

Species Name: A. Dementor

About dementor wasp

It’s unclear how the Dementor Wasps manage to kill its cockroach meal. Because of this, when the wasp injects its venom into someone’s nerve nodes, they are able to cause immediate and severe pain.

The cockroach’s octopamine receptors will be blocked by the poison. However, this means that its prey will be able to survive, but it will be unable to move on its own. So, regardless of how weak its muscles are, the cockroach will follow the dementor wasps into their nest.

As a result, it’s much easier to grab onto. Besides, cockroaches run into nests as if something calls them, but we have no idea why.

Cockroaches that their kill have also been given a new name by scientists. So, when the venom starts working after reaching its target, researchers saw what cockroaches do after being calmed and refer to them as “passive zombies.”

Moreover, few details about dementor wasps are available because they have only recently been discovered and are not prevalent. Currently, they are a threatened species because of the loss of their natural habitat.

Interesting facts about dementor wasp

The dementor wasps are under threat due to habitat loss.

Moreover, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund says that the dementor wasp lives in one of the top five most threatened habitats in the world. Moreover, this habitat is along the Mekong River. Even though it can fly, people think that its fate is tied to that area.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the dementor wasp earned its scientific name, four years after it was first identified in South-Asian country Thailand in 2007.

For the Greater Mekong Region in 2014, there were 139 new species discovered and named. Furthermore, nature lovers will find a wide variety of plants, animals, and insects in this area that are rarely seen. Moreover, countries in the region include Laos, Cambodia, Burma (also known as Myanmar), Vietnam and Thailand. Over 2,216 new species have been identified in the previous 17 years. This makes it one of the world’s richest and most diversified animal habitats.

Harry Potter’s soul-sucking ‘dementors’ inspired the name for the dementor wasp.

Following their discovery of a new species, researchers decided to allow the public to nominate the name of the creature. At the Berlin Naturkunde Museum, they did this. Moreover, people who visited the exhibit compared the dementor wasps’ horrifying hunting methods to J.K. Rowling’s “dementor” creatures, which eat people’s souls, in the Harry Potter books.

The Jewel or Emerald Cockroach Wasp has a similar affinity for cockroaches, which it uses as a host for its young.

Despite the fact that they behave the same, their physical appearances and locations of residence are vastly different. So, it is usually found in tropical regions of Africa, South Asia, and the Pacific islands where the emerald cockroach wasp can be found. Moreover, the colour is a glossy blue-green.

Besides, from an egg to a larva to a pupa to a wasp, a jewel wasp undergoes a metamorphosis within a cockroach.

To paralyse cockroaches, the dementor wasp injects poison into the head, which transforms the insect into a zombie-like creature with no apparent agency.

Even though cockroaches can move, they don’t seem to be able to go where they want to. So, when the deadly dose of neurotoxins makes them feel like zombies or “drunk,” they will follow the dementor wasp right into its burrow.

As an incubator, the dementor wasp uses the cockroach as a host for its eggs.

Eggs hatch in a few days, and the larvae devour cockroaches until they are large enough to leave the nest. Thus, they instinctively eat the cockroach’s less important organs first to keep it alive longer and, it seems, to keep both their host and their food as fresh as possible.

They look like ants.

There are 130 species in the genus Ampulex. Moreover, dementor wasps look like ants and move like ants. Furthermore, some species are known to look like ants because predators might not like them or think they are dangerous. While some ants try to look like other ants to help catch ants.


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