Aliens and Predators - A Biological Thriller

Dr. David Donnell, Department of Biology



            A single egg from the polyembryonic wasp Copidosoma floridanum gives rise to thousands of wasp larvae. These larvae complete their development inside the body of their caterpillar host. In order to survive these larvae must remain undetected by the host immune system. In order to thrive the larvae must detect and kill the offspring of other wasps attempting to consume the host resources. In this presentation I will share my latest research concerning the means by which Copidosoma larvae survive and thrive within their host. I will also provide details regarding the wasps’ exit from the host.