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A Wasp That Turns a Spider into the Walking Dead

This video from The New York Times explains how a parasitic wasp larva (ichneumonid wasp) gets an orb weaver spider to do its bidding. The wasp lays an egg on the back of the orb weaver spider. As the larva grows, it starts to manipulate the spider and forces it to turn its efforts away from maintaining a sticky, spiral web to catch prey. Instead, the larva gets the spider to devote itself to building a safe and sturdy web to serve as a home for the larva’s cocoon, in which it will transform itself into a wasp. Learn more about how the wasp larva accomplishes this by watching the video.

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