Photo Essay

Walking Dead

Zombified Ladybug

A braconid - a parasitic wasp - paralyzed this lady beetle, and injected its egg into it, using the long ovipositor on its rear.

The egg developed into a larva, and began feeding off the beetle's innards. After three weeks, the grub burrowed its way out of the ladybug's abdomen, and spun itself up in a cocoon around the paralyzed beetle's legs.

The ladybug is still alive throughout this entire ordeal, and is essentially just a zombie that has been brainwashed into protecting the wasp's larva. The larva will turn into a wasp after a week or so, and then fly off - leaving the beetle to die of starvation.

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