BUGS

Eucharitid Wasps

Eucharitid Wasps are parasites of Poneromorph ants. Female Eucharatid Wasps lay eggs on green leaf tops, after the eggs hatch the young larvae stand erect on the lleaf on which they hatched, and without any distinguishable preparation, jump about 3 inches from the leaf onto a foraging ant.

The ant carries the larvae back to its nest where the wasp dismounts and makes its way deftly to the nursery moving unnoticed through the ant nest because it has the ability to acquire the hosts scent upon contact. The wasp larvae eats along with the ant larvae until it grows enough that the ants tending the nursury notice its unusual shape and transport them outside as if they were refuse Ants show only moderate aggression to newly emerged eucharitids.

The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

Red Palm Weevil larvae can excavate holes in the trunks of palm trees up to a metre in length, thereby weakening and eventually killing the host plant. As a result, this weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) is considered a major pest, palms endangered include the coconut palm, date palm and oil palm. Originally from tropical Asia, the red palm weevil has spread to Africa and Europe, reaching the Mediterranean in the 1980s. It was first recorded in Italy in 2008. In its larvae stage this insect counts as one of the worlds most beloved snack foods (see Sago Worm). Sago Delight, or Fried Sago Worms is a speciality in many parts of Asia and Africa.

 Giant African land snail, Achatina achatina

Giant African land snails have both male and female reproductive organs. Although giant African land snails primarily mate with one another, in more isolated regions the giant African land snail is capable of reproducing by itself.

 

Giant African land snails are active during the night and spend the daytime hours safely buried underground. Giant African land snails reach their adult size by the time they are 6 months old and although their growth rate slows at this point, giant African land snails never stop growing. Most giant African land snail reach between 5 and 6 years of age but some giant African land snail individuals have been known to be more than 10 years old.