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Wasp Deposits Parasitic Larvae Deep Inside Tree Trunk

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The giant ichneumon wasp, ¬†megarhyssa rixator, has an unusual method for laying eggs. Using her overly-long ovipositor to drill deep into a tree trunk, she deposits a single egg on to the surface of an immobilized wood wasp larva. Her egg turns into a larva, that will eat the paralyzed host…bit by bit.

TRANSCRIPT

The wasp'''s antennae scan every millimeter of bark.

For a very specific spot.

She'''s found it.

Now megarhyssa manoevres her ovipositor into position.

But it'''s much too long.

First it'''s coiled into a special flexible pouch in her abdomen.

Now the drill is at right angles to the wood.

She can bore straight through the bark.

With hi-tech precision she drills towards the larva of a wood wasp.

The megarhyssa pierces its body and injects her venom.

This won'''t kill the larva, but paralyzes it for ever.

She retracts the ovipostor just a little.

And then lays an egg directly on to the surface of the immobilized wood wasp larva.

Her egg turns into a larva, that will eat the paralyzed host bit by bit... ...until it'''s ready to emerge.

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