Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gasteruption jaculator (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gasteruption jaculator is a name to conjure with: intimations of coitus interruptus abound; a hint of premature ejaculation colours the picture; indigestion raises its hand. I do like a bit of Latin me. Although not much versed in the classics, I do think that as archaic languages go it's pretty hard to beat for scientific classification purposes.

Gaster, as I will henceforth refer to this beastie, is conclusive proof that nature adores a practical joke. Just imagine that you are a giant wood wasp who has just gone to the trouble of inserting your ovipositor in a pine tree trunk. The strain, the grunting exertion leading to the deposit of a mini me larva who will dine on pine tree for up to five years before emerging to indulge in giant wood wasp whoopee fills you with satisfaction.

Along comes Gaster to spoil your party. Her ovipositir laughs in the face of your puny proboscis. She listens for juniors cheerful munching and then inserts her larva in juniors to thoroughly ruin his day. The muncher has become a munchee.

Life's a bitch, unless you're Bill Oddie.


MJ said...

I misread that as "Garferuption jaculator"

*goes off to ponder what my life would have been like as a giant wood wasp*

KAZ said...

I never did Biology - so I don't understand much of this.

Is it a bit like a cuckoo who chucks all the eggs out of a little bird's nest, lays it's own and then buggers off and leaves the little bird to feed the gigantic cuckoo offspring?

This always makes me feel so sad.

MJ said...

But aren't you a scientist, Kaz?

KAZ said...

Yes - but I'm a PHYSICAL scientist!

Piggy and Tazzy said...

This reminded of of that thing rabbits get - fly arse, or something. The fly eggs are laid in the rabbits arse, they hatch and the baby flies eat the rabbit from inside the arse, out.

I wonder if that's how Benjamin Bunny was despatched?

garfer said...

Blowflies are the worst, they hatch beneath your skin.

This is why I don't approve of abroad.

Mopsa said...

Garfer, you are a fount of new knowledge. And Piggy, flystrike is ghastly - sheep are prone too so I have been seen flicking maggots hither and yon in what can only be described as my very least fave activity.