Well zombies are definitely the in-thing and notably in the Fall time in Knoxville. My hometown does a zombie outbreak, where crowds of people act like zombies and wonder about the streets. Another reason why people are obsessed with zombies is because of The Walking Dead television series, where everybody is waiting to see who Negan, Lucille’s. Will it be Glen, Daryl, Abraham or is it someone else? My apologies I got off topic. Speaking of zombies, our small 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 poke from a parasitic wasp, Dinocampus coccinellae, will transform the ladybug into a zombie slave? The average person thinks the disease it implants is designed to kill, but in ladybugs it turns the bug into a mindless babysitter.
The parasitic wasp will sting the ladybug and lay its eggs within the creature. The nurturing ladybug has no indication it has been infected and goes about doing its routine job. The larva will begin to evolve within the ladybug dining on its internal organs and within a few weeks it will burst out of the ladybug’s stomach and construct a cocoon. Now you are probably thinking the ladybug is no longer alive at this point, you are wrong. The ladybug is awake and the illness it has been inserted with is now contaiminating the brain of the host and paralyzing it.
The ladybug starts to helplessly twitch and now the entire zombie transformation has begun (minus the brain eatingthing). The now zombified ladybug in essence turns into the guardian, and defends the wasp eggs, vigilant over the young and oppose any predators that could come their way. Within seven days, a developed wasp will emerge and repeat this cycle.
Surprisingly, 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.