40.6 MB (3.5 MB compressed)
3181 x 4466 pixels
26.9 x 37.8 cm ⏐ 10.6 x 14.9 in (300dpi)
DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ichneumon wasp. High-speed photograph of an ichneumon wasp (Netelia testacea) in flight above a flower. This is a parasitoid wasp, which lays its eggs inside the living bodies of noctuid moth caterpillars. The female inserts her eggs using the long ovipositor at the end of her abdomen. The developing wasp larvae eat the caterpillar from within; once they are fully grown, they leave the body and begin to spin their cocoons on its surface. The adult wasp feeds on flowers of the Umbelliferae (the carrot family) and searches for its host caterpillars in hedgerow vegetation in Britain and northern Europe.
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