Horrifying parasitic wasp with a giant head is one of more than 100 newfound species discovered in the Amazon

One of the world's most biodiverse locations, the Peruvian jungle, is home to a new genus of large, alien-looking parasitic wasps that have been found by researchers.

A giant-headed, brilliant yellow wasp that stabs its hosts and drains their bloodlike fluid before devouring them from the inside out has been found by scientists in the Amazon.

The recently discovered species is called Capitojoppa amazonica. It was discovered in the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve in Peru. The name of its genus, Joppa, is a combination of the words "capito," which refers to its huge, bulbous head, and "joppa," since the newly discovered wasp resembles members of the Joppa genus.

The unusual wasp species was found by Utah State University PhD candidate in biology Brandon Claridge and colleagues during a lengthy surveying procedure in which they set up malaise traps—big, tent-like structures designed to catch flying insects in the rainforest's understory. With a maximum length of 0.7 inches (1.7 cm), the new wasp is classified as a "solitary endoparasitoid," meaning that it deposits a single egg inside the body of its host. This ravenous parasite may feed on spiders, beetles, and caterpillars.

"The female will frantically stroke it with her antennae once the host is located and mounted," Claridge said to Live Science via email. "If acceptable, the female will deposit a single egg inside the host by piercing it with her ovipositor (a tube-like, egg-laying organ)."

The eggs will hatch in a few days, and the freshly formed larvae will consume the host from the inside out. After developing further inside a tough protective shell, or pupae inside their host's corpse, these larvae eventually emerge as adult wasps.

It's unlikely that C. amazonica engages in other gruesome behaviors besides feeding on its deceased host. Similar wasps would drain hemolymph—an insect fluid that resembles blood—from the weeping wound after stabbing their victims, according to Claridge.

In certain species, "females will even stab the host with the ovipositor and feed without laying an egg as it helps with gaining nutrients for egg maturation," Claridge stated.