wasp

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Tag archives for wasp

It’s not every day that you hear about spy missions that involve a lack of sex, but clearly parasitic wasps don’t pay much attention to Hollywood clich├ęs. These insects merge the thriller, science-fiction and horror genres, They lay their eggs inside other animals, turning them into slaves and living larders that are destined to be…

Viruses and bacteria often act as parasites, infecting a host, reproducing at its expense and causing disease and death. But not always – sometimes, their infections are positively beneficial and on rare occasions, they can actually defend their hosts from parasitism rather than playing the role themselves. In the body of one species of aphid,…

It’s a scene straight out of a horror film – you look around and see dead bodies everywhere. They haven’t just been killed either, they’ve been hollowed out from the inside-out leaving behind grotesque mummified shells. What would you do if you were confronted with such a macabre scene? Flee? Well, if you were an…

This is the seventh of eight posts on evolutionary research to celebrate Darwin’s bicentennial. It combines many of my favourite topics – symbiosis, horizontal gene transfer, parasitic wasps and viruses. Parasitic wasps make a living by snatching the bodies of other insects and using them as living incubators for their grubs. Some species target caterpillars,…

This is the second of eight posts on evolutionary research to celebrate Darwin’s bicentennial. What do you get when one species splits into separate lineages? Two species? Think bigger… When new species arise, they can set off evolutionary chain reactions that cause even more new species to spring forth – fresh buds on the tree…