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Wasp species controls the minds of spiders?!?

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  • Wasp species controls the minds of spiders?!?

    Evolution at work - Newly Discovered Wasp Species Enslaves Spiders

    According to a study published by a Brazilian team in the Journal of Natural History, and reported by Correio Braziliense, the newly discovered wasp species, a member of the Hymenoptera family, is able to control some spiders through a chemical process that remains a mystery.

    How the Wasp Enslaves the Spider
    A female wasp will target a spider and immobilize it with an unknown venom injected into its mouth--at which point the wasp lays its eggs on the spider's abdomen. When the spider revives, it seems to carry on unaffected as the wasp larvae develop.

    Over the course of several days, as the larvae grows riding on the spider's body, it releases a chemical that changes the behavior of its host. Instead of its normally orderly web-pattern construction, the spider begins to build a special cocoon for the larvae--controlled by the mysterious substance they emit. According to researchers:

    It may be a neurotransmitter or a potential neurotoxin that alters the behavior of the spider in building the web. This is because the spider is weaving a structure of three to four spokes and a central part of the cocoon where it will be.
    Great. So now bugs can control spider minds.

    Let's hope that the wasp's special enslaving chemical doesn't fall into the wrong hands, however--one day they're terrorizing our picnics, the next we could be building their houses.
    The rest of the article is here.

  • #2
    Not to worry my friend, what the birds and small mammal types don't get; i generally step on or swat the bejesus out of.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Thunder Dome; 02 Mar 10, 23:00.

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    • #3
      Spider Zombies - needs to be a film .
      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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      • #4
        There is already evidence that some human diseases and parasites alter behavior in ways that help them spread. It's been a long time since I read about that but I'll poke about for a current reference.
        Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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        • #5
          Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

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