Are ladybugs being overtaken by wasps? A Université de Montréal entomologist is investigating a type of wasp (Dinocampus coccinellae) present in Quebec that forces ladybugs (Coccinella maculata) to carry their larvae. These wasps lay their eggs on the ladybug’s body, a common practice in the insect world, yet they don’t kill their host.
“What is fascinating is that the ladybug is partially paralyzed by the parasite, yet it’s eventually released unscathed,” says Jacques Brodeur, who is also a biology professor and Canada Research Chair in Biocontrol. “Once liberated, the ladybug can continue to eat and reproduce as if nothing happened.”