Thursday, February 12, 2015

Zombie Caterpillar

February 12, 2015

Okay, it might have been a few days since my last post, but...

I did learn something rather interesting today.  There are zombie caterpillars.  What? Yeah, I know, that was my response, too.  It seems that one type of voodoo wasp, parasitoid wasps, lay their eggs inside the caterpillar's body.  The eggs hatch, and the larvae live inside their host until they are grown.  Once grown, eat their way out of the host's body and cocoon themselves near by.  At this time the caterpillar--without eating or moving--stands guard over the cocoons until the adult wasps emerge.  Then it dies.  How it stays alive is a mystery.  How the larvae control the caterpillar is a mystery.  It's like something out a science fiction movie.  In fact, if I were a Sci-Fi writer, I would be incorporating this into my plot.

Proof, once again, that life is often stranger than fiction.

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