Caption: Male parasitic wasp (Nasonia vitripennis). Nasonia is a genus of Pteromalid parasitoid wasps that parasitize primarily blowflies and fleshflies. Nasonia spp. are a useful tool for biocontrol of these pest flies. Three species have been identified - Nasonia vitripennis, Nasonia longicornis and Nasonia giraulti). The female parasitizes the pupa of blowflies and fleshflies. A female lays her eggs in a blowfly (or fleshfly) pupa through her ovipositor. The female deposits thirty to fifty eggs into the pupal casing. The eggs develop into larvae within one or two days. The larvae then feed on the fly pupa as a nutritional source. The larvae will continue to develop over the next eight to nine days, and then pupate, forming a protective casing around the pupae. Nasonia remain in the pupal stage for three to four days and then break free from their pupal cases as adults. These adults eventually emerge by chewing a hole through the host casing. These parasitoid wasps have been the subject of genetic, ecological, evolutionary and developmental research for over 40 years. The genome of Nasonia vitripennis has recently been sequenced.
Magnification*: x8
Type: SEM
Copyright 2009 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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