Speed Oviposition

Egg laying can be a dangerous task for parasitoids and parasites. Potential hosts often fight back with a kick of the legs or a snap of the mandibles that can stun or kill the parasitoid. In most species, time is of essence.

The parasitoid wasp, Kollasmosoma sentum, can sting and lay eggs in the ant, Cataglyphis ibericus, during an amazingly brief interval. Oviposition occurs in about half a second as the tiny wasp zooms in on the abdomen of an ant and flies away before the ant can respond. Slow motion photography is necessary to capture the process. For its prowess, the newly described Braconid wasp, Kollasmosoma sentum, made the list of “Top 10 New Species for 2012” A YouTube video of the wasp is embedded below.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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