48.2 MB (4.7 MB compressed)
5055 x 3335 pixels
42.9 x 28.2 cm ⏐ 16.9 x 11.1 in (300dpi)
DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parasitic wasp. A caterpillar parasitised by ichneumon wasp larvae. Ichneumon wasps parasitise lepidopteran caterpillars and sometimes the larvae of other insects. The wasp lays its eggs inside the caterpillar, using its long ovipositor, and the larvae begin to eat the still-living caterpillar from within. Once the larvae are fully grown, they leave the body of the host and begin to spin their cocoons (as seen here) on the surface of the dying caterpillar. A newly hatched adult wasp is seen emerging from the cocoon threads. Photographed in Ecuador.
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