Newly Discovered Parasitoid Wasp Species Rides on the Backs of Damselflies

Posted on July 29, 2013

Hydrophylita emporos hitching a ride on damselfly abdomen


A newly discovered parasitoid wasp species rides on the backs of damselflies. It also lays its eggs in their eggs. The new wasp, Hydrophylita emporos, is just 1.2 millimeters long. The wasp was discovered in Taiwan by a team of scientists, led by Yuan Tung Shih, from the National Taiwan University, and Andrew Polaszek, from the Natural History Museum. One of the wasps is pictured riding on a damselfly abdomen in the above photo.

To lay eggs, a female of the parasitoid wasp hitches a ride on a female damselfly's abdomen. The wasp waits for the damselfly to lay her eggs underwater. The wasp then walks down the damselfly abdomen and into the water and lays her eggs inside the damselfly eggs. The wasp larvae then consume the damselfly eggs when they hatch. Take a look:



The research was published here in the journal, PLoS One.

Photo: Yuan Tung Shih