Wasps can turn spiders into web-spinning zombies

Wasps already have a not-so-nice reputation, and this latest scientific discovery is not going to improve their image.

Japanese scientists published the results of their study of wasps and spiders in “The Journal of Experimental Biology.” The focus of their study was spiders from the species Cyclosa argenteoalba and wasps from the species Reclinervellus nielseni.

>> Read more trending stories

Scientists discovered that wasps can lay eggs on or inside a spider’s body, which triggers an unusual response in the spider, according to DNews. The arachnids perform a marathon web-spinning session, working for approximately 10 hours to create a web that is up to 40 times stronger than a typical spider web.

After the web is complete, the wasp larvae take over. The spider is lured to the center of the web, where it is killed.

Researchers believe the wasp injects a substance into the spider that disturbs the spider’s endocrine system, causing the unusual behavior that is beneficial to the wasp and deadly to the spider.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.