Saturday, 31 October 2015

Hallowe'en Biology: Zombie Cockroach

POST #103
PARODY-LYRICS
ORIGINAL SONG "Boney Fingers" 1974, Hoyt Axton. 
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, October, 2015.

KEYWORDS: goldenoldy, environment, math-and-science, medical

BIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND: The emerald cockroach wasp, or jewel wasp, Ampulex compressa is a fascinating creature, recently investigated with respect to its unusual reproductive behavior. Incredible details of the strange, even nightmarish habits of this predatory insect are shown by this video.   
Emerald Cockroach Wasp



ZOMBIE COCKROACH 

(to the tune of "Boney Fingers")

I’m an emerald-wasp Mom, and I’m doin’ my duty
Looking for daycare, and I’ve found me a doozy
Larvae can snarf, then get their beauty-sleep as pupae
They need a peaceful place where they’ll get protein while they’re growing,
Need a quiet place where they’ll get protein. 

Know where to hunt to find “la cucaracha”
Filled my stinger with a toxin called GABA *

Direct first sting to prothoracic ganglia
Likely that his limbs are weakened for two minutes.
Likely that ‘ll make his big arms weaker.

Inject toxins in his chest - whadda ya get?
(Weak limbs!) Woossie cockroach – woossie cockroach.

Oh! the second sting goes to the base of his brain:
Hit the right target and he's feeling no pain;
Lead him like a leash-dog, then one egg I’ll be layin’
Stuff them in a tunnel, the egg hatches in the mornin'

That is when my larva starts to eat him.

Hungry larva needs to grow - what does it eat?
(Whoo whoo!) Cockroach protein – cockroach protein.


For baby wasps, it’s a huge refrigerator
Inside and out, treats that Mother Nature catered

Five days of eating, then protected place for sleeping
In two weeks adult emerges ripe for breeding
Dressed to kill and carry on life-cycle.


Pretty pupa needs to sleep - where does it rest?
(Whoo whoo!) Zombie cockroach – zombie cockroach.

Wasps' lives are scripted, and they don’t need coaches.
Each gal makes toast of several dozen roaches
Mating takes a minute, they won’t need no urgin’
Every mom will be a horror-movie neurosurgeon
Every gal will be a neurosurgeon.

Inject toxins in his brain - whadda ya get?
(Whoo whoo!) Zombie cockroach – zombie cockroach.

Now, there's.......
Other bio-systems with bizarre behavior
Parasite controls and make the host enslav-ier
There are crazy notions, and this one's no crazier  -   
Maybe further research will have human implications
Maybe we'll make mental illness better.

Best test-model that we've got? What would ya guess?
(Whoo whoo!) Zombie cockroach! Zombie cockroach!

* GABA (pronounced by biologists as " gabba' ") = gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neuro-transmitter substance.























 Performing Notes


Intro:  |: A  |   | D  |    |E7  |    |    | A  | E7| A  |   :|  x2 

|:A  |   |   |   :| x2

I’m an [A] emerald-wasp Mom, and I’m doin’ my duty
[D] Looking for Daycare, and I’ve found me a doozy
[E7] Larvae can snarf, then get their beauty-sleep as pupae
They [E7] need a quiet place where they’ll get [A] protein as they’re growing,
They [E7] need a quiet place where they’ll get [A] protein. 

Inject [E7] toxins in his brain - whadda ya [D]! get?  >
(Whoo whoo) [E7] Zombie [A] cockroach – [E7] zombie [A] cockroach.





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