Question of the Week – Parasitoid Wasp

This week, the question was: What happened to this aphid?

This aphid has been parasitized by a tiny parasitoid wasp. Parasitoid wasps lay eggs in a host, like this aphid. As the egg hatches and the larva develops, it causes the aphid to swell, making it appear bloated. When the larva matures, it bores out of the host, leaving a hole in the abdomen, as seen above. The bloated body the wasp leaves behind is known as an “aphid mummy.” These beneficial wasps can be attracted to fields and gardens by planting a variety of wildflowers, especially sweet alyssum, dill, cilantro, parsley, buckwheat, etc. Click here to learn more.

This week’s question is from Millie Davenport, Director of the Clemson Home and Garden Information Center.

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