The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Photo Friday: Wolf spider parasite

I’m busy preparing my talk for the Entomological Society of Canada conference*, which is coming up in just a few short weeks! I plan to give a presentation about the cool/gross beetle parasites I found in some of my Arctic study sites.

Since I’m once again (still?) parasite-obsessed but don’t want to bore you with more photos of worms coming out of beetle’s butts, here’s another cool parasite (well, parasitoid, technically) from the Yukon territory, photographed while driving up the Dempster Highway this summer.

Parasitic wasp emerging from the egg sac of a wolf spider

Wolf spiders are incredibly abundant predators on the tundra – you can see them scatter underfoot with every step. Females are even easier to spot, since they are often toting their pale-coloured egg sacs at the end of their abdomens.

Many of the spiders’ eggs will never hatch, however: somewhere along the line, a teeny-tiny parasitic wasp laid HER eggs beneath the carefully spun silk.  The baby wasps hatch and then feed on the spider’s offspring, and the end result is what you see up there: little wasps emerging from the poor mama spider’s egg sac.
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* Speaking of the ESC meeting, if you are attending and haven’t yet submitted your images to the Photo Contest, GET ON IT! It promises to be a great competition, with extra-cool judges like John Acorn !! Go submit now!

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7 responses to “Photo Friday: Wolf spider parasite

  1. Sean McCann October 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    I am picking and choosing…
    On another note, do you think you will make it to my talk? I am not sure when it is scheduled, but somewhere in the PP sessions.

  2. Sean McCann October 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Well, looks like you can’t make it… Full schedule is posted and we are in separate sessions very close together…

  3. Sean McCann October 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Mine is the caracara talk. The strepsipteran one I’m only coauthor on.

  4. Sean McCann October 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    If you can’t make it, we could meet up sometime in the AV room if you want to see the talk.

  5. Pingback: Resolutions: from blogs to birds « Arthropod Ecology

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