November 28, 2012

Wasps Lay Eggs in Wasps that Lay Eggs in Insects

Ed Yong, Discover Blogs


Wikimedia Commons

A very hungry caterpillar munches on a cabbage leaf and sets off an alarm. The plant releases chemicals into the air, signalling that it is under attack. This alarm is intercepted by a wasp, which stings the caterpillar and implants it with eggs. When they hatch, the larval wasps devour their host from the inside, eventually bursting out to spin cocoons and transform into adults. The cabbage (and those around it) are saved, and the wasp—known as a parasitoid because of its fatal body-snatching habits—raises the next generation.

But that’s not the whole story.

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TAGGED: Parasitoids, Wasps, Parasites

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