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Survival of the fittest: Predator wasps breed at the expense of spider juveniles
Date:2/4/2013

collected for this study, the wasp larvae were attached to the abdomen of an immobilised spider juvenile, which they used as food for their own development.

Apart from feeding on the juveniles, the peculiar home of the ant-eating host provides another convenience for the parasites. The larva of G. apterus makes a cocoon inside the spider igloo before pupation. The other species (C. dispar), however, does not create a cocoon. Rather, it takes advantage of the already built spider igloo to help protect the bare larvae inside.

Such parasitoid behavior is common among wasp species. The author of the original research article, Dr. Korenko from the Department of Agroecology and Biometeorology of the Czech University of Life Sciences explains: "Several groups of Hymenoptera develop on spider hosts feeding on the flesh of the spider or on its eggs. The parasitoids attack a number of spiders ranging from ground dwelling and fast moving hunters like wolf spiders to web spiders such as orb-web weavers that stay on webs during most of their life."


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Contact: Stanislav Korenko
korenko.stanislav@yahoo.com
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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