SCARIEST Insect Carnivores

8 months ago
From awesome army ants … to Crime Scene Invertebrates … Here are 13 of the scariest Insect Carnivores

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#6 Bot Fly
While there are around 150 species of Bot Fly, we’ll focus on the Human Bot Fly, which is the only species known to regularly go after humans. Found in Central and South America, these critters will lay their eggs on mosquitoes, ticks, or any other insect that has a proclivity to land on a human being. Once that carrier lands, the larvae are left of the skin, where the host’s body heat will hatch them, often upon contact. The larvae will burrow under the skin, living and eating there for around 8 weeks … after that, they will disengage from the host and eventually develop into adults, which resemble bumblebees. Did you know that depending upon where these insects are deposited, the larvae can grow and feed anywhere within the human body … including the brain.

#5 Army Ants
If you remember “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you recall a harrowing scene where one of the villains was eaten alive by a swarm of army ants. Those critters would have been new world army ants found in the Amazon jungle and in Central America, as opposed to the species found in Africa. They are recognized as omnivores, so they certainly aren’t vegetarians. But could they really strip the meat off a human’s bones like it’s sometimes depicted in the movies? Of course, a lot of dramatic license is taken there. But the ants could kill a human, particularly a child, or someone elderly and/or in failing health. They wouldn’t necessarily eat them alive, though. More likely the ants would work their way into the victim’s lungs and cause them to suffocate, before tearing through the lung tissue. But to work their way into a person’s airways, that victim would have to already be somehow incapacitated, like being unconscious. Maybe not as graphic as the movies, but still a pretty gruesome way to go

#4 CSI: Crime Scene Insects
Did you know that around 1100 species of blow flies are known to exist? They can be referred to by a variety of names, including carrion flies. Another species, the Green Bottle Fly gets its own segment elsewhere on the list. Most species tend to be scavengers of carrion or dung, and account for the majority of maggots found in such locations. These critters have the ability to smell the flesh of dead animals from up to a mile away. That enables them to be the first insects to come into contact with carrion, whereupon the females deposit their eggs. It’s their talent for eating dead flesh that has caused the insects to become a popular tool in forensic science, not unlike the Hide Beetle. Determining time of death is usually considered unreliable past 72 hours. So entomologists (or experts on insects) can help crime scene investigators determine a more accurate time interval by studying the flies. The practice is known as ‘forensic entomology’, and versions of it have been around since at least the 13th century.

#3 Insidious Insect (Jewel Wasp)
Named for its metallic greenish-blue body, the jewel wasp is found mostly in the Pacific Islands, South Asia and Africa. This insect is unique for its unorthodox reproductive behavior, which uses cockroaches as a breeding ground. The wasp will inject its venom directly into the brain of its roach victim, which turns it into a type of zombie, and will pull its antennae like a leash … leading it into the wasp’s burrow. Once there, an egg is laid on the roach’s abdomen, where it hatches, and the larvae eats its way into the body of the host. After about 8 days a cocoon is formed, and the adult wasp later emerges from the corpse of the cockroach.

#2 Vulture Bees
It might be nice t realize there’s a species of stingless bee out there … until you realize it’s a really a carnivore. These insects are the only bees yet known that don’t rely on plant products like pollen or nectar for sustenance. Instead, they exhibit some maggot-like behavior, by consuming the rotten flesh of dead animals. The bee stores the flesh in a special pouch, then transports it to the hive, where it’s regurgitated and processed into an edible, honey-like material. No one seemed to notice this unusual behavior until 1982 … around 200 years after the critter were first documented.


SCARIEST Insect Carnivores

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