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~Invasion Of The Body Snatchers~

A bit of a macabre find today, a dead Seven-Spot Ladybird, now all I can guess is that it had been parasitised, the larva of the parasite has hatched out and pupated under the Ladybird. If anyone can shed any light on this it would be appreciated :)

This is the first time I've seen a Ladybird's mandibles, it must have been an agonising demise :(

 

Thanks to LizzieDeb for the following information:-

 

This is a cocoon of a parasitic wasp.It is the Perilitus coccinallae wasp female which lays eggs inside the abdomen of an adult ladybird. Only one larva survives having destroyed any others and it feeds on the ladybird's fat and food reserves. The ladybird becomes immobile after the larva emerges. The parasite does not kill the ladybird, but spins a cocoon making use of the ladybird's colouring for protection. The ladybird usually dies from starvation or fungal infection. The emerging wasp contains ripe eggs and the cycle continues when another host is found.

  

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Taken on March 6, 2011