Horrifying New Amazon Zatypota Wasp Turns Spiders Into Zombies, Canadian Scientists Report
A terrifying new species of parasitic wasp has been discovered in Amazon and MO is pretty freaky. This nightmarish bug turns spiders to helpless drones which will eventually abandon their own colony to do what the wasp wants before its larva eats them alive. Here are more details.
This horror discovery was made in Ecuador by scientists from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
They said that the wasp’s behavior is hardcore from the hijacking which is the process through which one animal manipulates another.
Manipulating spiders’ behavior
After they leave their homes, poor spiders are made to spin a special cocoon for the wasp larvae which will eventually hatch and eats the spider.
“Wasps manipulating the behavior of spiders has been observed before, but not at a level as complex as this,” said Philippe Fernandez-Fournier of the UBC’s department of zoology.
“Not only is this wasp targeting a social species of spider but it’s making it leave its colony, which it rarely does.”
The wasp targets a spider called Anelosimus eximius which is known for living in large colonies.
The researchers noted that a parasitic larva infected some of the spiders and they were seen wandering away from their own colonies to spin enclosed webs.
“It was very odd because they don’t normally do that, so I started taking notes,” said Fernandez-Fournier.
The shocked scientists noticed the larvae belonged to an unknown species of Zatypota wasp.
“These wasps are very elegant looking and graceful,” said Samantha Straus, co-author of the study.
The spider leaves its colony before getting killed
“But then they do the most brutal thing.”
A female wasp lays an egg on the abdomen of the spider which hatches and feeds off the spider.
The spider deserts the colony to create a cocoon for the larva and then it’s devoured by it.
“The wasp completely hijacks the spider’s behavior and brain and makes it do something it would never do, like leave its nest and spinning a completely different structure,” researchers note.
It’s unknown how the wasps do this, but scientists believe it “may be caused by an injection of hormones that make the spider think it’s in a different life-stage or cause it to disperse from the colony,’ the Sun notes.
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