Just like people, some of the insect out in the world don’t conform to the usual standards of the bugs we’re familiar with. There our outcast insects out in the world that dance to the beat of a different drum and eschew all normal behavior. However, while they might be different, they’re still predators that other insects have to watch out for.
You’ve probably heard of parasitic wasps. The females like to lay their eggs in other insects. Those larvae then eat that insect from the inside out. There is another species of wasp, called trigonalids, that do something even stranger. Rather than simply allow the parasitic wasp larvae to live in peace inside the insect host, these wasps like to ruin their little party, and turn the predator into the prey. The females will lay up to 10,000 eggs on the edges of leaves, a place where caterpillars are most likely to swallow them. The point of getting all these caterpillars to swallow her eggs, is that with so many caterpillars eating her eggs, one is bound to have the larvae of a parasitic wasp inside it. This larvae then becomes food for the trigonalids larvae. Unfortunately for the caterpillar, these guys will also still have to eat their way out.
There is one beetle that is the only known insect to specialize in hunting and killing vertebrates, mainly frogs. And their hunting tactics are brutal. As larvae they will lure a frog close to them and then grab its neck to swing onto it back…where it begins to chew its way inside the frog’s head. There have even been cases where the frog managed to turn to tables and swallow a beetle, but the crazy insect just kept up its attack on the inside of the frog. To make the situation even worse, when the frog eventually spit the beetle out, that psycho turned right around and continued to attack the frog. These little guys are vicious.
What do you think of the clever trick of the trigonalids eating the larvae of parasitic wasps? Does that beetle remind you at all of those intense UFC fighters (those little guys pack a punch)?