Back-Seat Driver: The Parasite That Makes Bees Drop Off Its Babies

Halictoxenos borealis, a species of strepsipteran, or twisted-wing insect, that parasitizes the bee Lasioglossum apristum affects the bee’s flower-visiting behavior. When the parasitize bee, as shown here, visits a hydrangea flower, it curls its abdomen and presses it against the leaf—making it easier for the parasites to offload their larvae. (Rather than laying eggs, H. borealis females release first instar larvae.) (Photo originally published in Nakase and Kato 2021, Journal of Insect…

Source: Entomology Today

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