strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

  • Categories

  • Wall of the Dead

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s