Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wasp Creates Ladybird Zombies

Wasp Creates Ladybird Zombies

Not the title of a 1950's B movie unfortunately. The parasitic wasp Dinocampus coccinellae lays its egg inside the ladybird Coleomegilla maculata. The larva feeds on the hosts innards for 20 days before breaking through the abdomen (think John Hurt in Alien) and spinning a cocoon between the ladybird's legs. The ladybird is alive though partially paralysed throughout its ordeal, venom injected into the ladybird making it twitch, thus acting as a zombie bodyguard for the wasp.


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