University of Regensburg
Larva of Germaphobic Emerald Cockroach Wasps Disinfect Roach Host Before Consumption
Due to their nauseating inclination for scurrying through all manner of foul refuse and dining on rancid food and carrion, cockroaches are walking incubators of disease, their exoskeletons nearly bursting with a multitude of harmful microbes. Despite this, many animals see the lowly roach as a tasty source of food, regardless of the fact that eating one is pretty much tantamount to licking the pole on a subway train. However, not all of Earth's creatures are content to chow down on these disease-carrying morsels without taking proper measures to ensure they won't be walking away with a wicked case of food poisoning. Scientists in Germany -- the land of chocolate and now, apparently, a mecca for roach studies -- have discovered that the larva of emerald cockroach wasps go above and beyond to disinfect their roach dinners from the inside out, and we mean that quite literally.Read on...