"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

December 4, 2010

December 4 - Megarhyssa macrurus

Megarhyssa macrurus is a species of parasitoid wasp. These insects seek out their hosts - larval horntail wasps - by tapping trees with their antennae until they sense their vibrations and scent. The females then bore into the wood with enormous ovipositors (now thought to be tipped with metals such as zinc!) and then she injects an egg into the larvae. Her offspring will hatch out and consume the body of its host and then use similarly metal-laden mandibles to emerge from the wood. Male M. macrurus are wandering around trees listening as well - they seek out newly emerging females to mate with.

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