It sounds like the horrible world's most popular movie plot: deep in the Ecovatic Amazon, a newly discovered species of wasp transforms "social" into a water as a zombie that leaves the country to make bids and the wasps.
That is the incredible discovery, real life by British University researchers, which details the first example of a new relationship relationship Zatypota species and social bees We are not more familiar Spider in a recent study in Aberystwyth Ecological Entomology.
"Wasps that handle beef behavior were observed before, but not at such a complex level," said Philippe Fernandez-Fournier, leading study author and pre-master student in UBC's zoology department. "This wasp is not only targeting a social species from soil but it does not leave its colony, which it rarely does . "
Fernandez-Fournier was in Ecuador when studying different types of parasites living in Welsh nests We are not more familiar copper flies, one of only about 25 species of "social" insects worldwide. They are notable for living together in large colonies, working together on collecting prey, sharing parental duties and rarely extending from their basket shape nests.
When Fernandez-Fournier noticed that some of the insects are infected with parasitic larvae and see turning a pair or two away from their colonies to tie built edges from pudding silk and leaves of leaves, it was confusing. "It was very odd because they do not usually do that, so I started taking notes," he said.
Strangely, he took some of the structures, called "coconut web" back to the lab to see what would appear to the depths .
I was surprised, it was wasp.
"These are great looking and cute," said Samantha Straus, co-author of the study and Ph.D. a student in UBC's zoology department. "But then they're doing the most lucky thing."
Using data collected in Ecuador for different projects between 2012 and 2017, researchers began the lifecycle of the wasp and a parasitic relationship with each other.
What was found in equal parts was interesting and horrible: after a female adult sprayed an egg on a spider abdomen, the larvae covers and sets itself to its continuous breathing host. Then it's likely to feed a blood-like haemolymp, increasing its body more and slowly. The "zombified" spider now stretches out of the patent and turns a cocoon for the larvae before waiting for a patient to kill and eat. After a flavor on the soil, the larvae goes into a cooked coconut, which appears to be full of nine to one. eleven days later.
In similar cases of parasitism, devices are known to be targeting individual species of soil coppies such as ribbons and treating behaviors that are within their normal repertoire.
"But this change is so difficult," said Straus. "The full seizure stimulates the behavior of the brain and the brain and makes it something that it would never do, such as leaving its nest and blowing a completely different structure. That is & This is very dangerous for these little insects. "
It's not known how the recipient does this, but scientists believe that it could cause a injection of hormones that can make it think that it is in a different life span or cause it to disperse the land.
"We believe that the bees are targeting these social spiders because it provides a large and stable colon, and a food source," said Straus. "We also found that the largest colon of the insects, the more likely these targets would be targeted."
Straus, who now plays a tattoo of the wasp, will return to Ecuador to investigate if the bees return to the rare allies that produce after a generation and what evolving potential could be.
Meanwhile, the loops will probably continue with their prominent role in the worst nights of the spiders.
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Philippe Fernandez-Fournier et al, Behavioral adaptation of a social friend by wasp parasitoid, Ecological Entomology (2018). DOI: 10.1111 / een.12698