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Spider zombies

A while back we told you about the tarantula hawk, the most painful wasp in the world, that hunts tarantulas. Apparently spiders and wasps have a rivalry as big as cats and dogs because here is another spider-hunting wasp, but this one is just weird!

Japanese scientists reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology have observed that the wasp known as the reclinervellus nielseni somehow manipulates a spider to build a special web for its young. In return for this kindness the spider is devoured by the young as they come of age. Here is disturbing video of what happens.

No one is sure how the wasp and its young manipulate the spider. Perhaps it injects a hormone that confuses the spider’s normal behavior. If you’d like to dig into the the scientific data is available.

In my experiments with people I do influence minds, but it’s nothing at all like this! Some of the things that happen in the animal kingdom, particularly with insects, is just plain unpleasant! I’m starting to actually feel sorry for spiders. The wasps are giving them a really hard time.

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