Zombie Caterpillars Conclusively Continue Care for Cocooned Killers

 Remember those Alien movies?  The Alien would lay it's eggs in the warm, nourishing belly of unsuspecting humans where they would hatch, eat their way out and chase Sigourney Weaver through progressively worse screenplays.  You probably already know that this behavior (the egg-laying, not the Sigourney-chasing) was inspired by a real-life breed of wasp which does the same thing.

New research shows that when a wasp lays its eggs in the geometrid caterpillar (also known as the inchworm), the caterpillar does not die when the eggs hatch but is instead turned into a zombie to guard the cocooned larvae. 

That's right, that little inchworm of Sesame Street song is controlled by several parasitoid larvae who remain behind.  The caterpillar is exactly like a Japanese giant robot but tiny, green and out of ammunition.  It stands arched over the cocoons without moving away or feeding and scares off predators.  Once the wasps hatch the poor inchworm is granted a swift, well-deserved death.

Oh, Nature.  If you were an  actual person you'd have been locked up years ago.  Somebody should really do something.  Nature must be stopped. .

Comments (4) Add Comment
Tony Bullard

I've always hated wasps. Now that I know they make zombies, I have a good reason to hate them even more.


NYAAN

*realizes with horror that i have been stung in the past*
holy crap!!! do i seem zombie-ish to you?! is there a clinic for this type of thing?! waaaaugh! all is lost!


Tony Hawk

I dont believe this cuz I got stung by 1 before.I never knew how to skateboard when i was little. IM GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Josh

holy shit. its like Dead Rising but with inch worms instead of humans, the crazy wasp things plant eggs inside the human and they become "zombies" thats why you dont become one when Frank West is bitten in the game. Hole. E. Shit.



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