MSNBC.com reports that parasitical wasps use ladybugs as living incubators, laying eggs inside them before larvae burst from their abdomen like a scene out of the movie Alien.  What’s worse, the ladybugs are still alive  as the wasp larvae emerge and begin to weave their cocoon around the ladybug’s legs.  The report continues:

“The wasps’ parasitical ways have been long noticed, but they aren’t unique in the insect world.  Another parasitic wasp, for example, lays its eggs in spiders. The larvae then eat their way out of their host.”

Research published in the journal Biology Letters finds that these zombie ladybugs even act as natural protectors for the larvea before they die, warding off predators so that the new wasps can grow to adulthood and complete the cycle.


  1. I see a novel or short story idea here. 🙂

  2. That’s pretty cool and all. Well, not for the ladybugs…for them it kinda’ sucks…but in general it’s very thought provoking. Nature sure is mean spirited in some ways. You get rainbows and pretty smelling flowers (ahh, how nice) then you get bastardly wasps that plant larvae inside fellow bugs, dooming them to be eaten alive by their evil little children. That’s just mean.

    I think they’re milking the zombie thing, too, though. That has nothing to do with controlling the ladybugs or them reanimating or virally infecting others. Oh well. If we want zombie goodness, we’ll have to look elsewhere. If you want gross-out parasitic baby insects eating other bugs alive, you’ve got it made.

    Thanks for the post.

    Dream well.

  3. Woah, I’m never going to approach a ladybird in the same way again.

  4. Some creatures just take the foster parent role to the extreme levels 😀

  5. when i was a little kid i put a caterpillar in a jar and it made its cocoon and a wasp came out. it was both fascinating and horrifying.

  6. I’ve heard of this, but where does the “zombie” part come in? Do the larvae take control of the ladybug?…….Not being a smart ass! I JUST WANT ANSWERS, DAMNIT!!!

  7. Oh hell no, I am never touching a ladybug ever again!

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