The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

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Mystery solved

Here’s the image from Wednesday’s mystery in its entirety:

Mystery revealed

I think it’s safe to say that Ted nailed this one squarely on the head (but then, he’s probably seen a gazillion similar scenarios over the years, am I right?).  

The frass-packed gallery of this wood-boring beetle larva comes to an abrupt end at what amounts to a murder scene.   The head of the victim peeks out at the end of clutch of parasitoid pupae.  Parasitoids (like this wasp, for example) differ from parasites (like fleas or ticks) in that they kill their host rather than simply harm it.  Here, the hapless beetle larva was consumed from the inside out by a dozen or so tiny wasp larvae, which then constructed silken cocoons in which to pupate.

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