Japanese Man Saves ‘Murder Hornet’ from Disgusting Parasite in Oddly Satisfying Video

Japanese insect enthusiast Ebira Mosura has released a video showing his removal of a parasite from the abdomen of a “murder hornet” and it is both oddly satisfying and profoundly disgusting.

Japanese insect enthusiast Ebira Mosura has performed a life-saving operation that evidently required great skill and precision—plucking a long, disgusting white parasite from the abdomen of a so-called “murder hornet.” In the video immediately below, posted by the South China Morning Post to YouTube, Mosura, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, shows the entire operation, which ranges from truly disgusting—to the point of needing a shower—to, paradoxically, oddly satisfying.

“It was hard to see but I was pretty sure that the hornet had a parasite in its belly,” Mosura told ViralPress. Apparently Mosura found the “murder hornet”—which is actually an Asian giant hornet or Vespa mandarinia—in his garden and observed the hornet “showing unusual behavior.” The Japanese man added that “I have seen that behavior before on other hornets and wasps so I thought I should help the creature that time.”

Lo and behold, when the (brave) Japanese man took a look, he found a long, booger-like parasite: Strepsipteras.

Strepsiptera (or “twisted-winged parasites”), is an order consisting of small insects that are obligate endoparasites—that is, they are parasites that live in, and depend entirely upon, their hosts. Interestingly, as ScienceDirect notes, the adult males of the species belonging to the order are “free living and winged” whereas the adult females are “entirely parasitic within the host.”

There is one exception for the class of endoparasites, and that is with the Mengenillidae family. In the family the females, in the last stage of their cycle of life, leave their hosts to pupate—or mature fully—externally. 

As for Mosura’s video itself, it is undoubtedly a regrettable watch for some—but make it to the end and the reward is an all-in-one-piece wiggling parasite on Mosura’s thumb; no longer able to plague the now freed hornet. (Which, incidentally, only very rarely kills people.)

A drawing of a male Strepsipteras. Image: DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS)

Indeed, Mosura’s extraction is flawless, and was likely difficult even with such sharp tweezers. “I’m not a professional but you have to be knowledgeable to successfully do this,” the self-proclaimed “insect lover” told ViralPress.

After extracting the parasite from the murder hornet—and displaying it on his thumb for all to see and be disgusted by—Mosura fed the unholy creature to his pet frog. Which is probably an event best left unimagined.

As for murder hornets in general, while they’re seemingly no longer a threat in the U.S.—if they ever really were—they’re still apparently thriving in temperate and tropical East AsiaSouth Asia, and Mainland Southeast Asia.

Incidentally, the so-called murder hornets, like Strepsiptera, are capable of inflicting great harm on other organisms. As PestWorld notes, “When these hornets come upon a honey bee hive, they will use their sharp mandibles to decapitate and kill the bees.” The website adds that in their “slaughter phase,” Asian giant hornets “can kill up to 40 honey bees per minute, allowing a minimal number of hornets to destroy an entire colony in as little as 90 minutes.” Which makes the parasites kind of seem like nature’s payback for all that bee killing?

Feature image: South China Morning Post

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