Body Invaders

In keeping with the parasitic theme I established in my last two posts, I happened upon this brief video promotion for a National Geographic special called In the Womb: Extreme Animals which will air this Sunday (May 10). The video features the offspring of a parasitic wasp (Cotesia glomerata) that has injected her eggs into a caterpillar — and now they’re ready to emerge! It’s a fascinating study of parasitoid-host relationships, filmed incredibly from inside the caterpillar! Watch the whole video for the wicked, surprising ending.

Viewing tips: after beginning play, click on “HQ” in the lower right corner to view the video in high quality. Or, click on the video itself to be taken to YouTube, where you have the option to watch the video in HQ and in full screen mode (2nd button from the lower right corner). You will be amazed!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Body Invaders“, posted with vodpod

Tip of the hat to Adrian, who posted this yesterday (but I really did find it on my own).

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
This entry was posted in Braconidae, Hymenoptera and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Body Invaders

  1. Now that was interesting, how amazing.

    • I was simply stunned by the “in-caterpillar” filming – that must have been quite a setup they used to get that.

      • kahunna says:

        I’m stunned as well by the quality of those “inner space” shots. Based on the lighting during the high speed sections, I’m guessing this was all filmed in an aquarium (is that what a caterpillar cage would be called?)

        I know where I’ll be at 10pm on Sunday!

        Ted, have you seen the “Life in…” series hosted by David Attenborough? I love the “Life in the Undergrowth” series and recently started watching the others on DVD.

  2. Heber says:

    Wow. That was great. I’ve also seen “Life in the Undergrowth” and it’s amazing as well. I think the technology to make tiny lenses that can take such great pictures of these small details has really come a long way in recent years and made this possible.

    • I’m watching the program on NGC right now – the filming inside the caterpillar, shark’s womb, penguin’s egg, and kangaroo’s pouch is simply stunning!

  3. Moe says:

    I saw this on another blog, too. Unfortunately, I missed the show.

    • Too bad, it was fascinating. My daughters loved it (except my oldest freaked out when they showed the time lapse sequence with the parasitoid larvae crawling out of the caterpillar).

  4. Andy Holroyd says:

    That’s amazing footage. Many thanks.

    And I agree with kahunna, “Life in the Undergrowth” is a good watch.

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