28 March 2010

Wasps and ladybug larvae

Jacques Brodeur, professor of biology, stated that “these insects take by force the helpless ladybugs and force them to incubate the eggs of their larvae between their legs. This is common among insects, but the curious thing is that they do not kill the host, rather they “kidnap” them. Then they set them free. ”

He continued, stating that “It’s fascinating that the ladybug, Coccinella maculata, is partially paralyzed by the parasite but is finally released unharmed” and claims that “The wasp larvae hatch between the legs of the ladybugs and only leave when matured. Once free, the ladybug can continue eating and playing as if nothing had happened. ”
The term incubate implies warmth, which would seem to be irrelevant (and probably the fault of the translator rather than the scientist, as is the word "parasite" in this connotation); perhaps the ladybug larvae protect the wasp eggs from predation.

In the photo (from the link), those do not look like wasp eggs; they look like ladybug eggs (it probably was the only photo available).  Still, an interesting anecdote about an enforced commensalism.

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