Student Question

What makes the wasps in the Hunger Games unique?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The wasps found in The Hunger Games both in and out of the arena are called tracker jackers. These are wasps that have been genetically engineered by scientists in the Capitol. Tracker jackers are essentially biological weapons made using wasps as a template for behavior and venom delivery. They share some similarities to traditional wasps, such as being subdued by smoke. Also, the topical effects of the sting can be soothed using specific plants belonging to their prospective worlds in nature for both wasps and tracker jackers.

The differences between tracker jackers and wasps are mostly found in their venom and aggression. The sting of a tracker jacker bring on very large and painful welts that can keep swelling for many minutes after the original sting and ooze liquid. The venom also brings on severe hallucinations to the point where they can even hijack a person's memories and alter the sufferer's recollection of reality. This memory hijacking is generally from usage of the venom in a concentrated laboratory setting, and not recorded as an effect of getting stung. Multiple stings can be lethal. Tracker jackers will attack anyone that damages their hive and often pursue their target for miles.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial