Parasitized SEVEN-SPOT LADYBIRD
The ladybird pictured has been stung and partially paralyzed (probably by the wasp Perilitus coccinellae). The wasp laid an egg inside the beetle. The grub hatched developed within, eating many of the ladybird’s internal organs. When developed the grub ate its way out of the ladybird’s body. Usually the parasite’s relationship ends there, however, in this case, the ladybird stands guard for a week or more without any food or water while protecting the pupating wasp! When the wasp emerges, it flies away. Even with all of this, when the paralytic wears off a quarter of the ladybirds still survive.
A lot of parasitic wasps sting insects and leave their offspring to feed to adulthood on their host, but the coccinellae takes the process one step further.
The grub emerges from the still partially paralyzed ladybird and spins a silken cocoon between the ladybird’s legs (shown above). Since the ladybird can’t move, it remains in place and unwittingly protects the cocoon (for a week or so), as it transforms into an adult.
The ladybirds warning colors, of red and black, help to deter would-be predators, and it twitches erratically if threats draw near.
The drama ends when the adult wasp emerges from the cocoon and flies away leaving its host to die of starvation—or not.
Fact Source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com
Other photos you may enjoy:
Lacewing Larvae - canny camouflage and Australian Lacewing Larvae
Seven Spotted Ladybug Cluster
Another parasitic wasp - Emerald Cockroach Wasp