The Metaphor of the WASP By Brian Simpson
I found this phenomenon, of extreme parasitism in the insect kingdom, illuminating:
“Imagine you are a caterpillar. You’re sitting down for a nice picnic lunch with your caterpillar buddies in the shade of a eucalyptus tree, munching on the tasty leaves and joking about caterpillar things (“Why did the butterfly get kicked out of the dance? Because it was a mothball! LOLOLOL”), when suddenly, you feel it — a stabbing pain in your stomach. Your whole body starts to quake. You feel heavy inside, like something is trying to break free. Then, something does. One bite at a time, dozens of black larval wasps gnaw their way through your body. Your buddies freak out until they are silenced by the same fate — each one split open by a brood of black alien babies. Needless to say, this is not the picnic you hoped for. Unfortunately for caterpillars, similar incidents happen all over the world, all the time. This is the grim calling card of Microgastrinae, a subfamily of parasitoid wasps that reproduce by injecting their eggs into caterpillars and then allowing their young to literally eat their way through the host bug’s body.
Researchers suspect there may be as many as 10,000 species of Microgastrinae wasps around the world, though only a few thousand have been identified so far. On June 25, Australian scientists writing in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research named three new species of the chest-bursting buggos — and one of them has an appropriately sci-fi horror twist. They call the otherworldly black wasp Dolichogenidea xenomorph. “This species is named for the fictional creature from the movie franchise ‘Alien,’ which reportedly was inspired by the lifecycle of parasitic wasps,” researchers from The University of Adelaide in Australia wrote in their new paper. “The name of the fictional creature comes from the Greek ‘xeno’ (strange) and ‘morphe’ (form) which is also appropriate.”
Although the wasps are the bad guys here, the metaphor seems appropriate to all the racially suicidal things happening to WASPs – White Anglo Saxon Protestants – who have been so deracinated that they make the caterpillars above look like sovereign individuals: