Friday, September 10, 2010

Nature is a Mother

WaspEggs.JPGWhile watering the herb garden yesterday (I mean, of course, hunting or fishing or playing some type of full-contact sport) I found this hornworm. The little white sacks all over it are the cocoons of wasp larvae which are, even at the moment this picture was taken, eating the insides out of this hornworm.

Eventually, the larvae eat enough that the caterpillar is immobilized somewhere that the conditions are right for them to finish developing. They leave a reflex system intact so that the zombie hornworm will batter potential wasp predators with its own head. Later, they emerge from the hornworm's body to breed and lay eggs on another hornworm.

I looked all this up because I've apparently been sleeping too much lately and needed some decent nightmare fuel.

You'd have a hard time finding a bigger advocate for nature than me, but screw this. Zombie caterpillars? Larvae eating the insides out of a living host creature? White dreadlocks of evil draped across the unknowingly already dead young of the Carolina Sphinx moth?

I've got enough issue with what people do to each other to have to also deal with nature pulling this kind of stuff.

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