Mangaluru: The unusual and rare insect, the assassin wasp was observed and described by Prof. Arunachalam Kumar in the outskirts of Mangaluru.
The wasp, has the macabre habit of burying alive caterpillars underground. The insect then lays its own eggs on the paralysed victim before interring it. The hatchlings feed on the live prey till they are strong enough to dig their way out of the hole. The odd change in the ritual burial was that the Mangaluru wasp chose a readymade manmade metal framework as building block as its nest, lining it with wet and moist mud and clay to complete its nursery.
First described as native of Thailand less than a decade ago, the Mangaluru specimen is probably an Indian subspecies of the Southeast Asian wasp.