Small parasitic wasps attacking ants and injecting eggs into their bodies were filmed for the first time ever by José María Gómez Durán from Madrid. The eggs hatch into larvae, which devour the ant or ant larva from the inside.
“Ants are a very dominant group in nature and well-equipped to defend themselves,” a statement released with the videos explained. “Only a few small parasitoids manage to break through their defense, thanks to very different and amazing adaptations… The eggs of the Braconidae develop inside adult ants. The eggs of the Ichneumonidae, however, develop in the larvae of ants. How the newly developed young wasps manage to survive inside the ant nest is still unknown. One of the possible explanations is that dead ants may be deposited outside the entrance of the ant nest, thus giving the young wasps a chance to emerge, avoiding a lethal attack on themselves.”
Two of the four filmed wasps species were new to science.
Watch video of the four wasp species, courtesy of Pensoft Publishers, below: