Parasitoid Wasps of Southern Oregon

ParasiteWasp2

“Hi! This is about parasitic wasps, some of the coolest wasps. They’re kind of like H.R. Giger’s Alien (you know, like the one that burst out of John Hurt’s chest in 1979). You may not like wasps, but they’re pretty fascinating nonetheless. They’re pretty useful biocontrol agents, and though you might not see them you would notice the difference if they were gone. I learned some interesting things about parasitoid venoms and mating strategies. Have a read, or maybe just check out the pictures.” Travis Owen

 

ParasiteWaspTrevorOwen

Parasitoid Wasps of Southern Oregon

Anyone that knows me knows that I love wasps. I think you should love them, too. Here I will attempt to familiarize you with the world of the non-stinging wasps known as the parasitoids. Parasitic wasps do not have true stings, as the aculeate wasps [and bees] do. These parasitoids have ovipositors, which are used to lay, or sometimes inject, eggs. While there are aculeate parasitoids, the aculeates do not have ovipositors. (The exception is the Chrysididae, the cuckoo wasps, which are aculeates which evolved their own unique ovipositors independently from the parasitoids featured in this piece.) The aculeate sting evolved from an ovipositor many millions of years ago…. READ MORE

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