Anti-Caturday: The Most Horrible Creature

Wasp with Lunch by e_monk
Wasp with Lunch by e_monk

I hate wasps. They’re nasty, unpredictable creatures and they act in their nasty, unpredictable ways. None are worse than these little monsters: the parasitoid wasps. They will find a hapless insect (most often a catrpillar of some kind) and lay their eggs inside them. Some parasitoid wasps will first kill the unlucky hatchery, some will merely paralyze them and the nastiest of the nasties? While impregnating the unlucky caterpillar that will be left alive it will also infect it with a brain parasite. The effects… well just watch the video below.

The worst thing about these things, the thing that adds insult to injury, is the fact these creatures are actually useful. They’re incredibly useful. They keep the number of pests down to a manageable level and some species of parasitoid wasps have a semi-symbiotic relationship with certain plants such that when a caterpillar eats the leaves of that plant its saliva reacts with chemicals in the leaf itself to create a fragrance that attracts the wasps. Parasitoid wasps are even being intentionally released into crop areas because they are the only natural predator of certain types of caterpillar. How’s that for a kick in the head?

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