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.