How Neat is That?

Did you know that there is another organism that has the common name Cicada Killer? Well there is and how it got this common name if find pretty neat. Its scientific name is Sphecius speciosus, and this large digger wasp hunts Cicadas. These wasps dig burrows and use Cicadas as a host for their eggs. The female wasp will find a Cicada and sting it in order to paralyze the Cicada. Once it has paralyzed the Cicada it carries it underneath its belly and flies back to the nest. The flight back is usually a laborious one as the Cicada usually weighs twice as much as the wasp. Once the wasp has the Cicada in its nest it then deposits and egg on the Cicada then seals off the burrow. The eggs hatch in one to two days and the larva use the Cicada, which is alive the whole time, as food.

Another neat thing about the Cicada is the fact that the bacteria, Hodgkinia cicadacola, living in its gut is given credit for having the small sequence of genes out of all cellular organisms. Not too much is known about this bacteria yet because it's a fairly new discovery. I just thought it was crazy because when I originally started my research on Cicadas I was unaware that they even had a mutualistic relationship with another organism let alone the organism is credited for the have the smallest sequence of genes ever!

<Previous                                                                                                                                                 Next>