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  1. Parasite masquerade

    jake on 2003.06.05
    at 06:48 pm

    Nature.com reports on a bizarre parasite that uses its host as a suit.

    It's not just the parasite's dress-sense that is bizarre. Initially less than 0.1 millimetres long, the grub eventually grows to fill its host's body. Females spend their entire lives inside, pumping out new larvae. Fly-like males hover around, looking to mate with the small part of a female's body that protrudes from her host's abdomen.

    Many insect parasites eat other insects from within. If an insect detects an invader, it builds a tough capsule around it, cutting off its food supply and killing it. But Kathirithamby has never seen a twisted-wing parasite suffer this fate.

    Posted in: Science

     

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