Wasps killing cockroaches 25 million years ago


This 2011 video is about the ensign wasp Evania appendigaster.

From Oregon State University in the USA:

Salute the venerable ensign wasp, killing cockroaches for 25 million years

September 28, 2020

An Oregon State University study has identified four new species of parasitic, cockroach-killing ensign wasps that became encased in tree resin 25 million years ago and were preserved as the resin fossilized into amber.

“Some species of ensign wasps have even been used to control cockroaches in buildings,” OSU researcher George Poinar Jr. said. “The wasps sometimes are called the harbingers of cockroaches — if you see ensign wasps you know there are at least a few cockroaches around. Our study shows these wasps were around some 20 or 30 million years ago, with probably the same behavioral patterns regarding cockroaches.”

Ensign wasps, of the Hymenoptera order and scientifically known as Evaniidae, earned their common name because their abdomen resembles a flag; an ensign is a large flag on a ship, usually flown at the stern or rear of the vessel, that indicates the ship’s nationality.

“As the wasps move about, their ‘ensign’ is constantly moving up and down as if they are flag-waving,” said Poinar, professor emeritus in the OSU College of Science and an international expert in using plant and animal life forms trapped in amber to learn more about the biology and ecology of the distant past.

About 400 species of ensign wasps exist today, distributed across 20 genera. The wasps live everywhere except polar regions. They typically measure 5 to 7 millimeters in length and don’t sting or bite but are lethal for unhatched cockroaches.

A female ensign wasp will look for cockroach egg cases, known as ootheca, and lay an egg on or in one of the cockroach eggs inside the case. When the wasp egg hatches, the larva eats the cockroach egg where it was laid.

Successive instars of the larva then consume the other dozen or so eggs inside the cockroach egg case. Mature wasp larvae pupate within the cockroach egg case en route to coming out as adults, and no cockroach offspring emerge from an egg case infiltrated by an ensign wasp.

Analyzing Tertiary period specimens from Dominican amber, Poinar was able to describe three new species of ensign wasps: Evaniella setifera, Evaniella dominicana and Semaeomyia hispaniola. He described a fourth, Hyptia mexicana, from Mexican amber. The Tertiary period began 65 million years ago and lasted for more than 63 million years.

No cockroaches accompanied the wasps in the amber, but three flying termites were found along with an ensign wasp in one of the Dominican amber pieces. It’s likely the termites were sharing a nest with the cockroaches and this attracted the wasp, Poinar said.

Anti-racist demonstrators arrested in Portland, USA


This 27 July 2020 New York Times video from the USA says about itself:

How Federal Officers Escalated Violence in Portland | Visual Investigations

Peaceful protests were already happening for weeks when federal officers arrived on July 4. Our video shows how President Trump’s deployment ignited chaos.

By Ceren Sagir, 29 September 2020:

Protesters arrested hours after demonstration ended in Portland
PROTESTERS against police brutality were arrested in Portland, Oregon, in the United States on Sunday evening, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence.

The protests, which began on Saturday night with hundreds of people gathering in a park near the Hatfield US courthouse, where there have been regular protests over the summer, were declared unlawful. A protester was seen burning a US flag.

Several arrests were made, though police did not immediately specify a number.

Video footage showed police grabbing a news photographer and pushing him to the ground as he was trying to document them tackling and detaining a demonstrator on a sidewalk.

Freelance photographer John Rudoff, who was wearing a helmet with a “press” sticker on, told local media later that he was “physically OK, but quite annoyed.”

Another online video showed an officer apparently deploying a chemical spray in the face of a man who was yelling at police and waving a sign at them.

Portland has seen protests almost nightly since the police killing of George Floyd in May.

Far-right demonstrators have also been mobilising in the city in counterprotests, several in military-style body armour, and in support of President Donald Trump and his “law and order” re-election campaign.

Police said that they were investigating an assault at the far-right protest on Saturday when one person documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the face.

PROUD BOYS MEMBER ARRESTED ON ASSAULT CHARGES A prominent member of the Proud Boys was arrested Wednesday in Portland, Oregon — less than a day after President Donald Trump publicly threw his support behind the hate group. Alan James Swinney, 50, faces numerous charges, including felony assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Video and photos show Swinney pointing a gun at protesters with his finger on the trigger during an Aug. 22 clash in Portland between far-right extremists and anti-fascist protesters. At the time, police did nothing. [HuffPost]