Internet shocked by giant parasite found in Hornet: ‘burn that thing’

A resurfaced video of a giant parasite being extracted from a hornet has viewers jaw dropping.

The video was originally posted on YouTube by the person who removed the parasite and has been viewed 10.3 million times. It was recently posted on Reddit’s Unexpected forum, which received 60,000 upvotes.

In the video, the doctor, named “Kurosyamo,” holds a hornet between his fingers and then uses tweezers to extract the parasite, or Strepsiptera — described as “free-living and highly mobile” — and infiltrate a host by actually invading the body , according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Also known as twisted-wing parasites, most Strepsiptera live as internal parasites of bees, wasps, grasshoppers, cicadas, etc.

2015, Wired reported on the approximately 600 Strepsiptera species. It has been described as “a small parasite that invades the bodies of all kinds of insects, where she waits patiently while the young that fill her body consume her from the inside”.

Male and female Strepsiptera differ greatly. While males have wings, antennae, mandibles and large eyes, an Oxford University entomologist described the female parasite as “a bag full of eggs” with no eyes, antennae or mouthparts.

“Unlike many parasites out there, they have no interest in keeping their host alive for very long: they use them, abuse them, and explode from their bodies, leaving gaping wounds that have absolutely no chance of healing. ” Wired reported.

A study published in Nature analyzed the lifespan of worker wasps infected with Strepsiptera in March 2021 and found that the parasite can prolong the lifespan of the worker wasps to help spread the parasite.

“Paper wasps infected by the parasite Strepsiptera Xenos vestarum Avoid all colony tasks, gather on vegetation where parasite dispersal and mating occurs, overwinter and infect the next generation of wasp larvae,” the study authors said.

Parasite extraction from Asian hornet
A resurfaced video of a parasite being removed by a hornet has caught viewers’ attention. Here, in September 2014, a scientist at the Research Institute of Insect Biology in France performs a dissection on an Asian hornet as part of a parasite-related research.
Guillaume Souvant/Getty Images

After measuring a range of host and parasite characteristics, the researchers added that “infected overwintering workers” had larger bodies than infected workers who died in the summer.

The video showed the man somehow locating the parasite “inside” the hornet.

“This hornet is harmless, so I think I can remove (the parasite),” the man said while using tweezers as part of the extraction process.

Eventually, he rips the visible “end” of the parasite and pulls it out of the relaxed hornet’s body. Several Redditors said the visual is comparable to cheese being peeled off a slice of freshly baked pizza.

At the end of the video, the man – who was not wearing gloves during the procedure – placed the parasite on his finger.

“Why would he put that on his finger?” asked one person.

“He should have some fire to burn that thing up,” opined another.

The doctor also received some recognition from viewers.

“This is an incredibly capable person,” said one Redditor. “Imagine being able to grab the wasp tight enough so that it doesn’t move, but not so tight that it gets crushed. Meanwhile, pull out the worm-like parasite without breaking the body or crushing the wasp in the process. “ Internet shocked by giant parasite found in Hornet: ‘burn that thing’

Rick Schindler

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