Wasps may turn ladybugs into zombies with viral weapons


Parasitic wasps use Coleomegilla maculata and other lady beetle species, like the one pictured above, as egg incubators and then turn them into stoic, mindless guards for cocooning pupae. Their secret weapon may be an RNA virus that triggers an immune response in the ladybug's cerebral ganglia.

Keith Marshall/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Animals

From the Nature Index

Paid Content