No respite from the gloom. Must be winter for sure.

Oh no. Even warm cozy Earth isn’t safe from the nihilism of the void. Here’s a story about parasitic wasps that lay their eggs on spiders. It’s another horrible tale of zombie arthropods, their endocrine system hijacked by wasp larvae to force them to build a nice silken web to house the wasp.

After the web is spun, the nearly mature wasp overlord injects the spider with poison, finally killing it. But in terms of free will, Eberhard says, the spider has been dead all along.

“Once the spider has been stung by the female wasp, it’s effectively reproductively dead,” Eberhard tells Newscripts. “It’s maybe going to live for another couple of weeks, but it now has that egg on it, and later the larva, and so it’s done for.”

Unfortunately for the spider, it doesn’t end with death. After killing the spider, the newly hatched wasp regurgitates digestive fluid onto the host body and sucks out its insides for nutrients. Dracula, surely, would be proud.

We live in a dark universe, obviously.


  1. says

    I had read long ago that Darwin was asked about his non belief in god and was it because of his theory of evolution. He said no because his theories did not necessarily disprove a god.
    His response was that he did not believe because of something he saw once. He saw a lion eating a zebra while the zebra was still alive and how the zebra would look up at the lion while the lion ate his guts. He then said that if there was a god it would be simple to ingrain in the instinct of that lion to at least kill the zebra first. But to allow something like that simply showed that nature was not designed. Now I’m paraphrasing Darwin and probably modernizing the concept he was trying to get across but I’ve thought this story to be true most of my life.
    If there is any place where I can get the truth on this it would be this site, I would suspect.
    Is this story true?

  2. davidc1 says

    I think it was when he was watching a Ichneumon wasp ,and i think the death of his daughter Anne finally put paid to any belief he may have had.

  3. davidc1 says

    PS, i have seen a beautiful photo of Cordyceps on a tarantula on the TYWKIWDBI web site .
    Don’t know how to post a link.

  4. says

    I prefer the approach of the better class of vampires on the Discworld. They prefer to give the humans a sporting chance, living in castles with heavy drapes than can be easily thrown back for a quick dusting, leaving scraps of metal laying around that can be easily bent into the shapes of various religious symbols (Just don’t try using a cross on a vampire of the wrong religious background, “Oy veh, did you pick the wrong bloodsucker, Bubelah.”) and easily read diagrams of the right location for the heart (No one wants to wake up looking like a pin cushion). Then just stay dead for a generation or two. Don’t make it too hard for them and don’t come back too often or the peasants will start looking for a more permanent solution like dropping the ashes over the rim of the world or scattering the ashes from a mountain top on a windy day. Thank you Terry Pratchett and

  5. davidc1 says

    @5 I like the photographer who is a vampire ,he has taken the pledge not to drink blood .
    After a lot of trial and error he keeps a little bottle of blood in his pocket for when the flash goes off and he turns to dust .
    RIP Mr Pratchett

  6. rpjohnston says

    Oh hey, I thought Kelly Wienersmith, in the article, sounded familiar. I read her husband’s comic SMBC =)