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An Insect That Makes Tarantino Sound Nice

Posted by Richard Conniff on March 25, 2013

Sting like a wasp?

Sting like a wasp?

Species names just seem to get stranger and stranger, and now we have a parasitoid wasp named after a character in a Quentin Tarantino film.

In an article in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, a new species from Thailand in the genus Cystomastacoidesis gets the name  kiddo, after the character Beatrix Kiddo in Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ films.

Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs on other insects and spiders, and the larva then hatches out and feeds on its host, often devouring it bit by bit while it remains alive and paralyzed.

Naturally, Donald Quicke and his co-authors thought of the deadly assassin played by Uma Thurman.  The fictional Kiddo is a master of the “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique,” a method of killing a person by quickly striking five pressure points around the heart with the fingertips. After the victim takes five steps, the heart explodes and the person falls dead.

But nature has a way of making even Tarantino macabre fantasies seem almost nice.

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