The adult stage of the newly discovered parastic Zatypota sp. Image: Philippe Fernandez-Fournier
Newly discovered wasp turns a social spider into a wandering zombie - life short science news

A new species of parasitic wasp has been discovered in Ecuador that uses a social spider for the development of its larvae. in a rather extreme way, never observed before.

A female wasp lays an egg on the abdomen of the spider, the larva hatches, and attaches itself to the spider. It probably feeds on the spider’s haemolymph (resembling our blood), grows, and takes over the spider’s body.

The spider is now under control of the wasp larva, exits the colony and spins a cocoon, before the larva kills and eats it. The well-fed larva enters the cocoon and develops into an adult wasp in nine to eleven days.

Read the full story: University of British Columbia
Scientific publication: Ecological Entomology

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