Nature Video

By Randal Coombs

 

David Weiller, 43, filmed this footage of a Caterpillar covered with larvae of parasitic wasps from the rainforest of Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia.

Adult parasitoid wasps lay their eggs inside the caterpillar and once the larvae hatch, they start consuming the caterpillars biological fluids.

After having partly developed inside the caterpillar, the wasp larvae take control of their host by turning it into a bodyguard that defends their survival.

After larvae are fully grown, they burst through the caterpillar skin and wrap them themselves up in a cocoon.

Despite these grave wounds, the caterpillar remains alive but it rarely moves and stops feeding.

The caterpillar then is able to stand up on its hind legs and starts lashing out with its head toward any insect predator such as stinkbugs or other even wasps.

The caterpillar eventually dies of starvation after the adult wasps emerge from their cocoons and fly off.