Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

Top 10 new species of 2015: Cartwheeling spiders, 'chicken from hell' and a giant stick insect celebrated in the year's first official list (12)

By RICHARD GRAY (Mail Online)    14:30, December 23, 2015

The killer mother wasp

Name: Deuteragenia ossarium

Location: Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, east China

What is it: A predatory wasp

Why it made the list: This insect measures about half-inch (15mm) in length, but has a unique and deadly way to protect its offspring.

The wasp constructs nests in hollow stems with several cells, each separated by soil walls. The wasp kills and deposits one spider in each cell to provide nourishment for her developing young.

Once her egg is laid, she seals off the cell and hunts a spider for the next cell. Rather than provisioning the final or vestibule cell with a spider, she fills it with as many as 13 bodies of dead ants, thus creating a chemical barrier to the nest.

This is the first animal known to take this approach to securing the front door to a nest.

This species, found in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in eastern China, has significantly lower parasitism rates than similar cavity-nesting wasps. Camouflage is supplied by a veil of volatile chemicals emitted by the dead ants, thwarting enemies that hunt wasp larvae by scent.

This wasp kills spiders to provide food for its young and uses the bodies of dead ants to create a chemical defence barrier to its nest

This close up image of the wasp's nest shows a cell filled with the bodies of dead ants that help to protect the cells behind it


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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