Nature is amusing and how. Humans possibly cannot fathom how some of this nature's creations are conditioned for their survival. Darwin long ago proposed the 'survival of the fittest' theory which has been a base of most creatures. And while scientists continue their research and discover something new about the wide world, a study talks about a species of wasp that can turn spiders into zombies! A combination of spiders, wasps and zombies sounds like a nightmare in itself but all three are coming together showing a real struggle of survival in a study published in Ecological Entomology. A Zatypota parasitoid wasp is found to take control of Anelosimus eximius of spiders and turn them into zombies! New Wasp With Monstrous Sting Discovered Near Amazon Rainforests.
Scientists observed the species of spider building an unusual web and on studying further, found it to be a case of host manipulation. A wasp attacks the nervous system of the spider and makes it build a cocoon to nurture itself. The particular spider species is known to take good care of its own family and baby nursing until a Zatypota parasite lays eggs and takes control. The female wasp lays eggs on the spider's abdomen. After hatching the larva from the eggs attaches itself to the spider's body. The larva then starts feeding on the spider's blood haemolymph for its survival. After a point, the spider is in control of the larva, so much so it leaves its nest and starts building a cocoon-like web. Do Spiders Produce Milk? Scientists Discover New Jumping Spiders Which Lactate and Nurse Their Babies, Watch Video.
The spider actually stops weaving the orb web and converts it into a strong cocoon. Eventually, the spider turns into a zombie due to the sticky larva on its body. The larva stays within the strong cocoon built by its host and fully grows inside. The larva fully grows into a wasp and the cycle continues. Spiders rarely abandon their own weaves to create new ones, so when this behaviour was observed, researchers decided to study it in detail.
This is one of the advanced manipulations ever seen among creatures. A small wasp can totally take control of a spider, kill it and then develop its own survival. Nature is surely intriguing and this research just proves the point, through brutal control of behaviour.