Zombie Ladybugs

zombie ladybugs

Well zombies are definitely in and particularly in the Autumn time in Tacoma. My hometown does a zombie invasion, where large groups of people act like zombies and wonder about the city. Another reason why people are obsessed with zombies is because of The Walking Dead television series, where everyone is waiting to watch who Negan, Lucille’s. Could it be Glen, Daryl, Abraham or is it somebody else? Please forgive me I got off topic. Speaking of zombies, our little planet has zombie ants and zombie bees and now we can add zombie ladybugs to the list.

Here is a neat fact. Did you know that one prick from a parasitic wasp, Dinocampus coccinellae, will transform the ladybug into a zombie slave? Almost everyone thinks the virus it implants is aimed to kill, but in ladybugs it turns the bug into a mindless caretaker.

The parasitic wasp will sting the ladybug and stick its eggs within the critter. The nurturing ladybug has no idea its infected and begins performing its routine chore. The larva will proceed to mature inside the ladybug feasting on its internal organs and within a few weeks it will rupture out of the ladybug’s gut and construct a cocoon. Now you are probably thinking the ladybug is dead at this point, you are wrong. The ladybug is conscious and the illness it has been inserted with is now polluting the brain of the host and paralyzing it.

The ladybug starts to helplessly have spasms and now the complete zombie transformation has begun (minus the brain chewingthing). The now zombified ladybug basically turns into the guardian, and secures the wasp eggs, vigilant over the offspring and fighting off any predators that could come their way. Within a week, a mature wasp will appear and duplicate this cycle.

Remarkably, about 25 percent of these zombified ladybugs will restore to their non-zombified selves. They will not have immunity and quite a few get stung and poisoned many times.

So there you have it. A frightening fact about ladybugs and how they are converted into zombies.