Question of the Week – Parasitoid Wasp

This week, the question was: Why is there a hole in the rear of this bloated-looking aphid?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aphid.jpg

This aphid was parasitized by a tiny parasitic wasp. An egg was laid in the aphid by an adult female wasp using its ovipositor (stinger). Once the egg hatched, the wasp larva developed within the aphid, feeding on its internals. As the wasp grew, the aphid expanded giving it a bloated appearance. Upon completing its pupation, the new adult wasp exits the aphid through a hole made in the rear of its body, leaving behind what is referred to as an aphid “mummy”. For more information, take a look at this site.

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