Natural History Photographs

Parasitic interactions among animals

Parasitoids, like parasites, depend on other organisms for part of their life cycle, during which they feed on the host. The adult parasitoid is free-living though. Parasitoid larvae may live inside the host (endoparasitoids) or on the host (ectoparasitoid). Unlike parasites, parasitoids kill or at least sterilize the host in the end. The distinction between parasites and parasitoids is not alwyas easy to make. Likewise, the distinction betweem a parasitoid and a predator is not always clear cut. The difference between ectoparasitoids and predators is mostly one of the time it takes to devour the prey. If a larva eats from a single prey during its entire larval development, it seems more useful to consider it an ectoparasitoid than a predator. But if a larva devours more than one host, with an increasing number of prey the feeding strategy more and more resembles predation.

Cyrtus gibbus Exoprosopa cf lucidifrons Myopa buccata
Acroceridae Bombyliidae Conopidae
Nemestrinus laetus Melanophora roralis Gonia ornata
Nemestrinidae Rhinophoridae Tachinidae

Leucospis dorsigera Holopyga cf. chrysonota
Chalcidoidea Chrysididae
Ichneumon cf confusor Smicromyrme rufipes Anoplius viaticus
Ichneumonoidea Mutillidae Pompilidae
Scolia cf flaviceps Metocha ichneumonides
Scoliidae Thynnidae

Nematoda Nematomorpha
Mermithidae Nematomorpha
Nematoda Nematomorpha