From Carl Zimmer at The Loom: Stockholm Syndrome For Moths.
A caterpillar’s life is not an easy one. The plants that it eats make toxins to make it sick. Birds swoop in to pluck it away and feed it to their chicks. But the most horrific threat comes from wasps that use caterpillars as hosts for their young. These parasitoid wasps are among my favorite creatures (see my post on the emerald cockroach wasp, which attacks cockroaches like a neurosurgeon). So it was with eye-popping delight that I read a new paper in PLOS
Biology Oneabout how another species of wasp in Brazil attacks another caterpillar. Glyptapanteles glyptapanteles is more than just cruel to its host. It also gives its host an extreme case of Stockholm syndrome.
The fun begins when [continue]
I love this kind of stuff! I’d never heard of Carl Zimmer before coming across The Loom. Turns out that he’s written a book that looks plenty interesting: Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures. Tempting. I might have to order that one.