As I kid I loved watching the nature shows on PBS.
If I happen to be flipping around channels and I come across one now, I’m always sucked in (the same happens if I stumble upon Cast Away or The Godfather).
Mental Floss has a great story about a wasp in Costa Rica that turns spiders into zombie construction workers:
In another post, we were talking about what happens to spiders and their webs when scientists give them a little bit of marijuana and other drugs. While researching that post, I learned that its not just humans that alter spiders’ behavior with chemicals. There’s a wasp in Costa Rica that does the same thing, in a more gruesome and sinister way, as part of its journey to adulthood.
The tropical wasp species Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga is a parasite, and it takes advantage of an unlikely host. The web of the orb weaver spider Plesiometa argyra is normally a place where bugs meet their untimely death and become spider snacks. Using an arsenal of toxins and mind-altering chemicals, though, H. argyraphaga is able to turn the spider into a slave and a meal and its web into a safe haven.