Researchers exploring Ecuador's Amazon have discovered a new species of parasitic wasps that turn their victims into zombies.
What scientists say is a particular "hardcore" form of hijacking, these wipes first make normal social spiders turn their backs on their own colonies before spinning a cocoon for the larvae who will eventually eat it.
The fragile attack occurs from most other known instances of wolf parasitism, which is unusual because it is not aimed at a single spider species, as is usually the case.
What scientists say is a particular "hardcore" form of hijacking, these coats usually make social spiders turn their backs on their own colonies before they spin a cocoon for the larvae who will eventually eat it
"Weapons who manipulate the spiders have been observed before, but not at a level as complex as this," said Philippe Fernandez-Fournier, principal author of the study and former master student at UBC's zoological department.
"It's not just this wasp that targets a spider's social nature, but it makes it leave its colony, which rarely does."
The parasitic beep comes from the genus Zatypota and targets a spider called Anelosimus eximius – a unique social spider species known to live in large colonies and collaborates with others to catch change and raise their youngsters.
During the investigation, the team noticed that some were infected with a parasitic larva, and could be seen as wandering away from their colonies to spin closed roads.
"It was very strange because they usually do not, so I started taking notes," said the researcher.
After taking some of the so-called "cocoon webs" back to the lab to investigate, the researcher discovered that there were bulls inside.
"These goats are very elegant and graceful," said Samantha Straus, co-author of the study and doctoral student at the OBC Zoological Department.
"But then they make the most brutal."
The cruel attack is apparent from most other known instances of varps parasitism, which is unusual because it is not aimed at a single spider species, as is usually the case
According to the researchers, the adult female wasp first puts an egg on a spider's belly.
Eventually, the larva cuts and attaches to the spider's body and expands it as it grows.
In a zombie state, the spider leaves its colony and creates a cocoon for the larva. Then it is waiting to be killed and consumed.
The larva appears nine to eleven days later.
WHAT IS A PARASITOID?
Parasitoids are insects with parasitic larvae that eat their host – usually another insect – from the inside out.
They often use a sharp tool called an ovipositor to put eggs under the skin or exoskeleton of no malicious hosts.
After a short gestation period, the larvae hatch and begin to consume their host, which usually reaches the age of adults when the host has died.
Parasitoid species are mostly types of bees, varp and marshes, although some species of flies also use the cruel technique.
Paroxy's biology has inspired several science fiction writers and scriptwriters to create parasitoidal aliens who kill human hosts, including the infamous Xenomorph in Ridley Scott's 1979 film "Alien".
Parasitoids are insects with parasitic larvae that eat their host – usually another insert – from the inside out. Imagined is a parasite soap that injects larvae into spiders and then sucks the host in its nest to squeeze it down
"This behavior modification is so hardcore," said Straus.
"The horse completely hijacks the behavior and brain of the spider, and does it to do something it would never do, like leaving a living and spinning a completely different structure. It's very dangerous for these little spiders. & # 39;
Scientists have not yet figured out how the bees get the spiders to abandon their colonies, even if they suspect that hormones are used, which may trick them into believing they are in another phase of life may be blaming.
"We think the wasp targets these social spiders because it provides a large, stable host colony and food source," Straus said.
"We also found that the bigger the spider colony, the more likely it was that these wasps would target it."