Saturday January 28, 2017
The mind control of the crypt-keeper wasp
more stories from this episode
- U.S. scientists call Canada for help with government clampdown
- Carl Sagan predicted our Trump era future
- Chimps, war and the "cuddle hormone"
- The mind control of the crypt-keeper wasp
- Make tomatoes great again!
- Inside 'biology Twitter' with #BestCarcass
- Quirks & Questions: why so many kinds of moons in the outer solar system?
- Full Episode
Hypermanipulation is a rare phenomenon in nature in which a parasite manipulates its host, then is in turn manipulated by another parasite.
Researchers knew that the crypt gall wasp manipulates twigs of live oak trees by burrowing into them to lay eggs. But a new study by Dr. Kelly Weinersmith has found that another wasp — the crypt-keeper wasp — also lays its eggs in the same crypt. It then parasitizes the crypt gall wasp and manipulates it into leaving the crypt through a hole. The result is that the infected wasp ends up plugging the hole with its head, and dying.
The crypt-keeper wasp is three times more likely to die trapped inside the crypt without its gruesome escape plan.